Summary: This sermon describes the nature of the divine protection enjoyed by all believers, the reasons why God may remove the divine hedge around His children, the signs that the hedge has been broken or removed and how the broken hedge can be restored.
BIBLE TEXT: ISAIAH 5:1-5
INTRODUCTION: A hedge is a wall or fence built around a precious property or possession to prevent damage or theft. It is usually set up for the purpose of protection or defense. In the above text, all believers (God's People) were likened to a vineyard with precious vine. Just as God fenced the vineyard, He surrounds every believer with a divine hedge - Psalm 91:1-2.
FACTS ABOUT THE DIVINE HEDGE
1. The divine hedge is God Himself - Psalm 125:1-2 - During any battle, the people of Israel locate the mountains as a weapon of defense and just as the mountains surrounds Jerusalem, so the Lord Him surrounds the believers.
2. The divine hedge is also known as 'the Wall of Fire' - Zechariah 2:5 - Our God is a consuming fire and because of His love for us and He protects us with a wall of fire.
3. The divine hedge is invisible - 2 Kings 6:17 - The divine hedge is so real, yet it is invisible. Elisha had to pray to God to open the eyes of Gehazi, so he could see the mighty army. If God could protect His servant in this manner, how much more the children of the Most High.
4. No evil power or devil can penetrate into the divine hedge - Job 1:10 - It is very clear in this text that Satan had no power over Job not until God Himself removed the hedge.
5. The divine hedge keeps the enemy out
6. The divine hedge comes with commandments - Ecclesiastes 10:8 - Whenever God creates a vineyard like He did in the garden of Eden, He will always give commandments else the haven or refuge is lost just like the beginning. So God does not expect us as believers to break the hedge by our disobedience.
7. The divine hedge could be broken or removed - Isaiah 5:5 - God expects so much from us because He has invested so much in us and so it pains Him to see unproductive Christians. Sometimes He may have no choice but to remove the hedge as a consequence of unfruitfulness.
GOD'S REASONS FOR REMOVING THE HEDGE
1. Disobedience - Joshua 7:1 - Joshua and all the Israelites had just won a battle against the city of Jericho but due to disobedience to the commandment of the Lord, they lost to a small country - Ai. Disobedience always tend to draws out of God's presence and the hedge will be removed by God.
2. Unfruitfulness - Isaiah 5:4-5 - God hates unfruitfulness. When Jesus got to the Fig Tree and He could not find a fruit on it, He cursed it. So if as Christian, God has deposited a gift or talent in you and you refused to utilize it for the glory of God, then God may decide to remove the hedge just as He did in this text.
3. Trials - Job 1:1-12 - Sometimes God may not find any fault in His children (you) but if He decides to test your faith like He did to Job, He will allow trials or temptations to come. It's important to note that trials will surely come but what we do during trials is very important. Hence, God could remove the hedge just to see how much you love Him.
Other reasons include rebelling against God's anointed, prayerlessness, carelessness and going against God's will.
SIGNS OF A BROKEN HEDGE
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:
1. Affliction by the enemy on self or any member of family
3. Great loss and disaster
5. Glory turned to Shame - as in the case of Samson
6. Sin having dominion over you - Romans 6:14
HOW TO REBUILD A BROKEN HEDGE
If a builder discovers a broken wall, he knows that trying to patch it will not bring a lasting solution instead he breaks down that section of the wall and rebuilds it from the very foundation. Hence, if the divine hedge must be rebuilt, the foundation must be revisited. The following actions will help in building and strengthening the divine hedge of all believers:
1. Repentance - God will only protect His own.
2. Praying - as the best form of defense is attack, you do this by putting on all the whole Armour of God- Ephesians 6:11
3. Offer quality offering unto the Lord - Job 1:5
4. Pleading the Blood of Jesus Christ - During the Passover night, the blood of the Lamb formed the hedge for the children of Israel and at this age, the blood of Jesus forms the hedge for us the sons of God.