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Wednesday, September 28 2022

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Every child of God living in the will of God and consequently His plan and purpose for their life has a spiritual and invisible hedge of protection around them that prevents any attack from the enemy. We know this from Job’s account in Job 1:1-10 when God boasted about Job, Satan then declared, confirming this truth: “Hast, not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” (Job 1:10). This statement tells us that the hedge of protection is not limited to the individual alone but his/her family, their property and everything that concerns them. Undoubtedly Satan must have attempted to attack Job and met with the hedge; and that is why he was protesting to God. John 10:10a tells us of the devil’s MO - “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
But he has no power to infiltrate the protection the hedge provides unless access is granted to him by a breakage of the hedge.

Psalm 125:2 tells us of this same level of protection
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

Psalm 91 also tells us of this same level of protection. However, three verses in this chapter calls out the conditions for this continued protection that keeps us protected from the enemy’s attack that we should be conscious

Verse 1: He that dwells in the secret place of the most High. This implies that the protection is for dwellers; not tourists. A tourist is one who does not take any responsibility whatsoever; they come and go, they don’t dwell.
Verse 9: Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
Verse 14: Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

But when we stray away from God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we tend to veer away from these conditions and consequently remove ourselves from the protection offered by the hedge exposing ourselves to the attack of the enemy (Ephesians 4:27)

HOW CAN SOMEONE BREAK THE HEDGE?

Participating in any act of defilement that can cause the breaking of the hedge. We will focus broadly on actions that cause defilement and exposure. They are, unconfessed sins (in general), compromise, disobedience and unforgiveness.

There is however, another scenario as we see in the instance of Job, where God can choose to take away the hedge Himself for the trial of our faith. Or He can also take it away as punishment as we see in Isaiah 5:5

"Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled."

The difference however is that when it is taken away as a test, it is for greater glory as opposed to when we break the hedge ourselves; or when it is for a punishment where the consequences may be dire.

• Sin (Proverbs 5:22-23)
An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness. The Lord withdrew His protection from the Israelites in the battle of Ai when Achan sinned. (Joshua 7:2-5). On the cross when Jesus was carrying the sins of the world upon Himself, the Father turned His face away. Mt 27:45–46

• Compromise (Genesis 13:12-13 & Psalms 1:1-2)
The tragic tale of Lot and his Daughters in the book of Genesis. We see from the story of Lot that he engaged in a series of compromises (Genesis 13:12-13) that left him exposed to the attack of the enemy (Genesis 14:11-12). Even after being delivered from captivity by Abraham, Lot returned to Sodom. (Genesis 19:1 tells us that Lot was sitting in the gate; implying that he had so entered into the society of Sodom that he was a judge there However, in spite of his position, the men of Sodom had no respect for him because they knew he was a hypocrite. (Genesis 19:9). His belief system had become eroded by living in compromise (Gen.19:8 – offering his daughters to be abused) and finally, culminated with Him sleeping with his 2 daughters (Genesis 19:30–38).
Samson in Judges 16:20 stood up and said, “I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself.” And he knew not that the Lord had departed from him

• Disobedience (1 Kings 13:1-25)
The young prophet in the book of 1 Kings (1 Kings 13:1-25) disobeyed the Lord and the consequence was his death. Because just as in Isaiah 5:5, God took away the hedge around him and he was destroyed . “. . . I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.”

• Unforgiveness (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
Hebrews 12:14-15 tells us that many are defiled through bitterness, which is the fruit of unforgiveness: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

SIGNS AND CONSEQUENCES OF A BROKEN HEDGE
Breaking the hedge exposes a person to the devil, his wiles as well as the powers of darkness. Ecclesiastes 10:8b says - He who breaks the hedge the serpent will bite
Isaiah 5:5 tells us that when God Himself takes away the hedge, the result is destruction
Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.

Considering what Job suffered as a result of God's removal of the divine hedge (Job 1:13-22), the following are the signs of a broken or removed hedge:
• Great loss and disaster (Job 1:13-17)
• Attack by the enemy on self or any member of family (Job 1:18-19)
• Sickness (Job 2:7)

CONCLUSION
Breaking the hedge exposes a person to the devil, his wiles but that is not the end of the story for believers. Ezekiel 22:30 says: And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. This tells us that the hedge can be repaired, the walls can be rebuilt (Amos 9:14), the altar can be restored (1 Kings 18:30), what was lost can be recovered (Job 42:10), crooked paths made straight (Isaiah 40:4) and destruction averted (John 10:10b) by returning to the Lord in faith and prayers.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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