Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are Hedges of Protection A Good Thing?

I was looking at Job today, and I realized the phrase "hedge of protection" or "wall of protection" was something Satan said as a bit of a criticism of the way God was looking out for Job. Job 1:9-11 says, Satan replied to the Lord, "Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!" (All the verses in this post are from the NLT)

This leads me to believe that it is time to give up being so obsessed with being safe and comfortable and give up being so shocked and ready to ask "WHY???" when a time of blessing ends. I'm not saying to go seek out trouble. I'm not saying to give up praying for protection. I'm saying that we need to value God more than protection so that when circumstances change, we can accept with faith that God is still good, even if our lives are not. Jesus set the ultimate example of this kind of prayer and faith when he was preparing for his own crucifixion in Luke 22:42. He prayed, "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."

Having this attitude is easier said than done, but, as Job says in 2:10, "Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?"

My prayer today is that the trials we're going through or that are coming will draw us closer to God as we remember that he is good and that it is worth our suffering to be in the midst of his will.

On a side note, things were terrible for Job for a time after God removed that hedge of protection, but in the end, the Bible tells us, "When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!" (Job 42:10) Interesting that Job was praying for someone else when his own restoration was granted, don't you think?

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