Summary: Series introductory message. Spiritual hedges protect, promote prosperity, and bring us into alignment with God's purposes.

When Hedges Fail

PPT 1 Series Title

Next 4 weeks we are going to looking at:

When Hedges Fail - several passages

When Your Way is Hedged In - book of Hosea

When the Hedge doesn't work - Isaiah 5

Job's Hedge of Protection - Job

PPT 2 Message Title

I want to begin by defining what I mean by a spiritual hedge.

PPT 3 Definition

A spiritual hedge is:

1. A barrier of protection (Job)

2. A means of promoting prosperity. Physical blessing and spiritual fruit. (Isaiah 5)

Imagine if your house was missing the front door. Imagine an ancient city without gates. A hedge provides the protection to allow for prosperity.

3. A means to bring alignment with God's Path. (Hosea)

PPT 4-7 Textual example of what happens when the hedge is removed

Judges 6:1 Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. (NAS) (7 years with no hedge!)

Judges 6:2 And the power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

Judges 6:3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them.

Judges 6:4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey.

Judges 6:5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it.

Judges 6:6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian...

Judges 6:6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites...(kjv)

V. 5 devastate it = destroy it. You don't take so much that they can't recover unless destruction is your goal.

Israel was their cash cow, but they hated it so much they didn't care if they lost it. They came to steal, kill, and destroy.

In this text we see the Jews turned from God and as a consequence their hedge of protection was removed. Their enemies were allowed to get the upper hand on them. What they worked a year on would be stolen from them. Their sin allowed the enemy to devastate the land and the people. Israel became greatly impoverished.

There are a number of scriptural examples we could show of this truth, and not all have to do with sin. In the book of Job it was not about sin, and if we consider Jesus as an example, He never sinned and was wonderfully protected throughout His life, but near the end that hedge of protection was removed, and the consequences to Him were horrific. So it is not just bad people who have had hedges removed from them.

I want to take a few minutes and explore the consequences of a failed or removed hedge.

PPT 8 Pic

When your hedge fails:

1. You get Snake bit

PPT 9 text

Ecclesiastes 10:8 He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall.

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the kings wrath pacified.

Psalms 7:15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

In context these passages are stating that when you try to bring harm to others you will most likely bring harm to yourself.

The last part of Ecc.10:8 says if you break through a wall (hedge kjv) you are probably going to get bit by a snake. It displays for us a word picture that a hole in a hedge presents an opportunity for a person to get bit by a snake. In the bible satan is often pictured as a serpent. When your hedge fails or has a breech opens up, snakes won't be far behind. In Judges they were called the Midianites, in Jesus day it was the religious and political leaders, whom John the Baptist identified as a brood of snakes.

When your hedge fails:

2. You get drained

PPT 10 pic of sinkhole swallowing car.

PPT 11, 12 text

Haggai 1:5 Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways!

Haggai 1:6 "You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes."

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