Satan accused the Lord of putting a protective hedge around a man named Job. A protective hedge? Wouldn’t that be nice? It is easy to think that some might have a protective hedge about them; it appears they never fail or struggle with various issues in life. We even think to ourselves, occasionally, “I would like to have that ‘protective hedge’ so I would not have to look behind me to see all the debris of a wrecked life!”
What was this protective hedge?
The Lord said to man’s great adversary (Satan), “Have you considered my servant Job?” (Consider an imagined conversation below).
Satan: “Yes, I have considered him and have made many efforts to get to him, but You prevent me from getting to him because You protect him. I can’t penetrate Your protective wall.”
Lord: “Fine, for a little while I will let you afflict him, but I will only let you go so far.”
Satan: “Fine! I will take it. He should turn on you after my afflicting efforts.”
Satan goes after him with force, destroying all that he has in the way of possessions; he gets to the heart of that which is, generally, most precious to people, family. Satan fails, however, to get Job to turn against the Lord. Another effort is made by the great adversary, Satan fails in this effort also.
Job, by this time, has lost everything and is beaten down to a point of non-recognition. People look at him and turn away, interpreting his experiences as “God is against him; therefore, I don’t want any association, lest the Lord be against me also.”
As Satan tried to get Job to turn away from the Lord (but failed), he was successful in getting people to turn away from Job, making him the loneliest man among men in the midst of physical and emotional anguish.
What about this protective wall, what was (is) it? I have reflected on that many times. Does the Lord put a physical barrier around His saints? If so, why do so many of His saints seem to fail? What happened to their protective wall?
In my view, the New Testament gives an answer to the protective wall for those who belong to Him. Before that protective wall can be put in place, one must start with the proper response to the Lord. This starts with being a Christian (Acts 2:36-38; 16:31-33; Mark 16:15-16). At this point, the Lord’s protective barrier is in place; the protective wall is strengthened when one’s faith (trust, conviction and commitment) is tied directly to knowing the Lord’s way.
The words of God’s prophet, Hosea, rings loudly about now. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” It was the Lord’s apostle who said we are to walk by faith and faith comes by hearing and obeying the will of God (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 10:17).
With these thoughts in place, hear what Peter wrote to Christians: Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: (2 Peter 1:5-10, ASV).
There are a number of words to be underscored in the above biblical reference. This is to emphasize the point of knowledge in association with the Lord’s protective barrier for the Christian. There is a correlation that one shouldn’t miss. Paul wrote, that if God is for us, who can be against us (cf. Romans 8:31ff)? One might reply, “Many are against us!” Yes, that is true, just as Satan was against Job and Satan was against the Lord. It was Jesus who said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In the end, who won those contests?
If you know the value of a food supply for your body, you also know the value of the Lord’s word for you soul, your spiritual health. Heartache, discouragement and confusion come because one takes the Lord’s barrier and sets it to the side, exposing weakness and vulnerabilities. Do yourself a favor and allow the Lord to take control and given you a protective hedge.