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Summary: God protected Israel from all her enemies as long as they obeyed Him, but when they turned away from Him to worship other gods, and then they became corrupt in their actions, God took away the hedge. When God left them exposed, their enemies would attack

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4-11-03

Heart Cry for Revival

Text: “Why have You broken down her hedges, So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?...Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine" (Ps. 80:12, 14).

Scripture Reading: Psalm 80

Let’s begin by reading our text for today: “Why have You broken down her hedges, So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?...Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine" (Ps. 80:12, 14).

What I read is verses 12 and 14 of Psalm 80.

Read the entire Psalm sometime; it’s a wonderful prayer for the restoration of Israel; but it also contains a truth which is vitally important to all of us.

It is a word from God that will help us to understand what’s happening in our world today.

If we will listen to what God has to say and then do what He says, it will lead us to have a cry for revival that comes from our heart.

We need revival personally and revival will pump new life into the church.

For our Bible lesson today, let’s consider three words that pinpoint this truth-hedges, hope, and heart cry.

The first word to consider is “hedges.”

Verse 12 says, “Why have You broken down her hedges.”

We want to have a clear understanding of what God is saying, so let’s see first, “what is the purpose of the hedges.”

The Hebrew words for “hedge” mean simply “that which surrounds or encloses,” whether it is a stone wall, or a fence of some other materials.

Today, the stone wall hedges which surround the sheepfolds of modern Palestine are frequently crowned with sharp thorns.

Together, they make a pretty good barrier to confine the sheep.

What do you think about when you hear the word hedges?

If you are like me, you see hedge rows.

I was raised in Kansas where the farms are sectioned off by hedge rows that usually have a straight line of trees and a barbed wire fence, so that’s what I think of.

Or perhaps what comes to mind are the beautiful hedges that are so prominent around our homes.

If you have hedges, you know that it takes a lot of care to keep them clipped in whatever shapes you have fashioned.

Last year, Sierra and I visited the Biltmore Estates in North Carolina.

They had miles of hedges that were beautifully maintained.

That is some of my thoughts about hedges, but what we want to know is what the biblical understanding of hedges is.

In the Bible we find hedges around three things.

First, there is the hedge that God put around the nation of Israel.

God protected Israel from all her enemies as long as they obeyed Him, but when they turned away from Him to worship other gods, and then they became corrupt in their actions, God took away the hedge.

When God left them exposed, their enemies would attack, because they were just waiting for an opportunity to destroy them.

I think that this would be a good lesson for America.

We must return to being a Christian nation; and worship and obey God, so that he doesn’t remove our hedge.

Second, there is the hedge that God places around a family.

It says in Job, “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 is the question Satan asked God.

Satan argued that the Lord had put around Job and all his possessions a protective “hedge” that no one could penetrate without God’s permission.

He suggested that it was only this hedge that had kept Job faithful.

God put a hedge around Job and his family.

But we must not think that if we are good, we can make God do the same for us.

God is sovereign, and though he often blesses those who serve Him, we can’t force Him to do so.

None of us are sinless or good enough to demand blessings from God as a reward for faithful service.

However, the implication here is that those who love God and seek to serve Him with all their heart has a hedge about them today.

Satan cannot touch them unless God allows it, and even then it is for some purpose of God.

On the other hand, through the sin of unbelief, a person can abandon the protection of God, and leave himself open to the attacks of Satan.

Third, there is the hedge that God puts around a person.

The prophet Hosea wrote, “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, And wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths” (Hos. 2:6).

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