Summary: A sermon series on Job
God is Good…All the Time!
“God’s Hedge of Protection”
I have the utmost respect for schoolteachers. It’s tough being a schoolteacher, especially an elementary school teacher. Recently someone sent me a humorous list of seven ways to know if you’re an elementary school teacher. You might be an elementary schoolteacher if: 1. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form. 2. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside. 3. You believe the teachers’ staff room should be equipped with a Valium salt lick. 4. You laugh hysterically when someone calls the teachers’ staff room a “lounge.” 5. You want to strangle the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 8 to 3:00 and have summers free.” 6. You believe “Shallow gene pool” should have its own box in the report card. 7. You would approve the aerial spraying of Prozac. All joking aside, you’re probably a schoolteacher if you love children and love a challenge! We should pray for all of our schoolteachers and administrators. If you can read your Bible, hug a teacher!
This is the second message in the series from Job entitled “God is Good…All the Time” In this book we are going to discover that God utilizes a variety of ways to teach us—and adversity is one of His most effective teachers. The story of Job begins with a description of a man who is happy and wealthy. He owns great riches and has ten children. But all of that was about to change because of a conversation that took place in heaven between God and Satan. Read Job 1:6-12. In this message I want to focus on the statement Satan made in verse 10. Satan observed God had built a hedge of protection around Job. Based upon that observation, I want to talk about “God’s Hedge of Protection.”
1. A Hedge of Protection is given to those who honor God.
Did you notice God’s evaluation of Job? He said, “Have you considered my SERVANT Job?” (Job 1:8) It would be nice to think God builds a hedge of protection around everyone, but the truth is He is looking for people who have surrendered their lives to Him to become His servant. Do you want to have a divine hedge in your life? Then your goal should be to become a servant of God. When you hear the word “hedge,” what you think of? Most people think of a hedge made of plants. You may have a set of hedge clippers somewhere in your garage that you use to trim plants. But the word “hedge” in the Bible describes something more substantial than a bush. The Hebrew word really means “wall.” A hedge was a defensive wall often built around a city. The bottom part might be comprised of stones or hard packed dirt, and there might be thorny plants on the top of it.
The general idea of a hedge is that of a protective fence–a barrier. In his conversation with God, Satan pointed out that God had built a spiritual hedge around Job, around his family (household) and around all his possessions. Job couldn’t see the hedge, but Satan could. As I mentioned in the last message, there are many things that exist in the spiritual world that are invisible to our eyes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real–they are. It is a wonderful insight to realize God can provide a spiritual barrier around His servants to protect them from spiritual attacks. Let’s notice a couple of things about this divine hedge of protection:
(1) Everyone one of us needs God’s hedge of protection. God’s hedge of protection around His servants is part of God’s promise. This hedge can only be removed by God’s permission. The great Bible teacher, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, was born in Hillsboro, Texas and pastored in Los Angeles for many years. He had a radio broadcast called “Through the Bible.” Dr. McGee wrote in his commentary on Job: “I believe there is a hedge around every believer today, and I do not think that Satan can touch you unless God permits it. And IF God permits it; it will be for His purpose.” There are many examples in the Bible of God’s promise to protect His servants. For instance the Bible says, “His faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart...If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the Lord who is my refuge—then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” (Psalm 91:4,10-11) God’s hedge is not a hedge of stones or a hedge of plants; it’s a hedge of angels.
Let me give you an example of this. I shared this story once on a Wednesday night. John Pollock and his wife, who were missionaries, went to the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. When they arrived, they were the first Europeans the natives had ever seen. The tribal magician feared these white intruders, so he convinced the members of his tribe these strangers had come to kill the children of the tribe. On that first evening, the natives surrounded the hut John and his wife were in, planning to attack and kill them. Expecting to be attacked at any moment, the Pollocks stayed on their knees praying for safety all through the night. The night passed and the native warriors never attacked.