Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, 'Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven't you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face.' Job 1:9 WEB
Job was a righteous man who feared God, and because of that, God had built a hedge of protection around Job and all that he owned. God also blessed the work of his hands. There were many times when satan wanted to test Job, to sift him as wheat like Peter (Luke 22:31), but he could not get to him because of this divine hedge that God had placed around him.
It is that hedge that I want to talk about. In a sense, God was proud of Job (1:8) and knew that Job could pass the test. God even told satan: 'Have you considered my servant Job? There is none like him in the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil.' To which satan sneered: 'Yea but take away his stuff and he will curse you to your face." God basically said, 'Test him and you will see that he will not' and then He removed the hedge from Job for a season.
When the hedge was gone, satan went after Job and his family in full force, but that was not enough to break Job's spirit. So satan came back wanting even more access, to be able to touch Job's physical body. 'Skin for skin, all that a man has will he give for his life' (Job 2:4) were the words that he used. Again, God gave him access through the hedge. The test was to see if satan could make Job curse God, and things got really bad for Job. In the end, Job passed the test and God restored everything that Job had owned before, double (Job 42:12).
Jesus told Peter: 'satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat' (Luke 22:31). He had to ask God for permission to sift Peter. If I was Peter, I would asked: 'Well what did You tell him???'
That said, not everything that we suffer in this life is a test. Some things we bring on ourselves by making bad choices. If we max out a credit card on frivolous shopping, it is not God's fault when the bill comes due. Paul wrote 'Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap' (Galatians 6:7). Solomon wrote that whoever breaks a hedge, may be bitten by a snake (Ecclesiastes 10:8).
God puts a hedge around each of His children, but just as a parent can warn a child not to touch a hot stove, it is up to the child to obey. Why did God tell us to not commit adultery? Because we can choose to commit adultery. We are not a mindless robot, we get to choose our path in this. When we choose bad things, our hedge is broken.
Stay the course and keep a positive attitude about what you are going through. When you fall, be quick to get back up and don't wallow there. Yea, though it seems like hell on earth, it is only temporary. Resist the temptation to get angry at God. Learn to be content in your circumstance like Paul (Philippians 4:11). When this is over, the enemy will have to restore double of everything that he took from you.Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that You repair the hedge around my life. I am sorry if I have broken it and I ask that You forgive me of anything that I have ever done wrong. Please wash me Lord, and I will be clean. Guide me, and I will follow. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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