Living in the Hedge

We have it easy. We really do. We like to think of ourselves in terms of our how hard we work, how busy we are, and how many hardships we have to overcome. The reality, however, is that we are blessed beyond measure. We concentrate on what we do not have and forget that we have more than the wealthiest people enjoyed in ages past. We complain about our health, apparently unaware that advances in medicine have prolonged life extensively and alleviated many of the former problems people in previous days had to endure. So, while we certainly still have problems, these are minimal compared to our blessings. Indeed, our God has placed a hedge around us in many ways, protecting us and providing for us far beyond what we often consider. 

It was this hedge that Satan claimed propped up Job’s faith (Job 1:8-11). God removed this hedge for a time—except for the protection of Job’s life—in what would become the basis for the rest of the book. As a result, we remember Job for his patience—and nothing could be more appropriate. While we know nothing about him beyond the bounds of the book bearing his name, the information contained within this one inspired account describes a man of strong character, amazing endurance, and undying confidence in His God (Job 1:8), though perplexed and depressed by his later situation. Although he did not enjoy access to the explanation of God’s actions that we have today, he did not turn his back on God, recognizing his existence as still owed to God not only in its origin but in its all (Job 1:20-22).

But that brings us back to life today. We must get over thinking of good health, a decent paycheck, political freedom, and the many blessings God provides as our expected baseline for life. Doing so leads to taking these things for granted instead of being thankful to God for them. Indeed, all of these are our hedge. They demonstrate how much God has provided us and protected us. But if we treat them as ours by right instead of by blessings, should that hedge be removed—even for a short while—what will happen to our faith? 

It is certainly true that life has its challenges. We constantly face temptation and trials of various sorts (1 Pet. 1:6-9; Jas. 1:13-15), yet we can have confidence in our God and joy in life even then (Jas. 1:2-4). We are the recipients of the outward blessings of the Father of lights (Jas. 1:17) and, as Christians, the spiritual blessings available in Christ (Eph. 1:3). We have access to all of God’s revealed Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3). We have every reason to be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10). We have it easy. We really do. 

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