Tuesday, June 27, 2023

H E D G E  H
E                E
D     Job       D
G                G
E  H E D G E       No 8  JobInside a Hedge

Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land (Job 1:9,10).

Have You Not Made a Hedge?
There was a hedge! Truly, truly there was a hedge. And until God took it down, Satan had no access to get to Job. The hedge being referred to here is a symbol, of course. We are not talking about real bushes with thorns and brush with mounds of dirt. We are talking about a wall of protection.

Satan says to God, “You have built an hedge (a wall).”
Truth No 1: Who built the hedge? God.
Truth No 2: With God's hedge in place, Satan could not
     a) touch the person of Job
     b) touch Job’s house
     c) touch any of Job’s stuff (possessions)
     d) stop the blessings coming from God upon the work that Job did with his hands
     e) stop the increase coming from God upon everything that Job touched (so to speak)
With that protecting hedge around him, Satan could only exclaim, “Unfair! I can’t get to him!”

So Satan challenged God to take down the hedge. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:11).  Put forth Thine hand now,  meaning, "God, please take down the wall, and let me at Job, and he will capitulate in a heartbeat. If You will cut down the hedgeI’ll show You what Job is all about."

Truth No 3 God knew about the hedge around Job--He put it there.  
Truth No 4 Satan knew about hedge around Job--he could not breach it. 
Truth No 5 Did Job know about the hedge around himself? Yes. Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? (Job 3:23). Job knew he was hedged in. He enjoyed knowing it. Job basked in the sun of that protection.

Only Job?
Did Job have the benefit of a hedge while others around him may not have had the 
same? Is there a hedge of safety built around some of God's people while others have 
to go through life without such a protecting hedge? Are some of God's people put safely 
in a tower while others have to shelter on the ground? [This is a reference to another 
Bible symbol similar to the hedge―the tower. The name of the Lord is a strong tower: 
the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (Prov 18:10).

Question: In one word―what was that hedge around Job (and us)? 
Answer: Obedience. 

10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:10-12).

vs 10 God knows how I act―He knows my ways.
vs 11 My feet keep to the path He has set before me.
         I do not veer to the right or the left.
vs 12 I have never turned aside from His 10 Commandments.
         I consider the words from His mouth more important to me than even my 
         necessary food.

As long as Job maintained this attitude toward God and His Law of Commandments, Satan found him impregnable and impenetrable. This was his hedge. Satan had tried hundreds of times to knock Job off his feet, but he had not been unsuccessful in any attempt.  Job was committed to God and His ways. Nothing Satan held before him was an inducement. An enticement. An incentive. An attraction. A temptation. A bait. A lure. A pull. A draw. An impetus. A motivation. A stimulus. A carrot. A bribe. Job was settled 
        in God’s truth, 
        in God’s ways and 
        in God’s Law.

Job’s Experience Must Be Our Experience
Each of us must have the Jobian Experience of being invincible and impregnable to the sophistries and temptations of Satan. The purpose of the Book of Job is to teach each one of us how to do just that.

In our own little sphere each one of us must have that same experience of faith. Each of us must come to that point where Satan cannot molest us even though he may try. Regardless of how hard he may try.

Hedge = Law
So far from making arbitrary requirements, God’s law is given to men as a hedge, a shield. Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil (Ellen White, Education, page 76).

Hedge = Obedience
The happiness of man is found in obedience to the laws of God. In obedience to God’s law he is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil (Ellen White, Sons and Daughters of God. page 66).

Two Hedges, in Fact
God has provided two hedges for our safety: To this people were committed the oracles of God. They were hedged about by the precepts of His law, the everlasting principles of truth, justice, and purity. Obedience to these principles was to be their protection, for it would save them from destroying themselves by sinful practices. And as the tower in the vineyard, God placed in the midst of the land His holy temple (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, page 287).

The Two Hedges (Summary)
      ❶ His Law
      ❷ His temple (Sanctuary)

11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:11-12).

I want to walk in His steps and keep His ways. I want the words of His mouth to be more valuable than my necessary food.

Don’t you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

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