Hedges

A little-understood and often overlooked aspect of spiritual warfare is the subject of hedges. God places hedges about people and nations to protect them from Satan, and when we willfully sin we make gaps in these protective hedges allowing Satan and his demons access to us.

This concept is first mentioned in the book of Job, when seeking permission to afflict Job, Satan complains to God that He has hedged Job in so that no evil can come to him. As Scripture records;

JOB 1:1-12

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

4 And his sons went and feasted [in their] houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

5 And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 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.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

God allowed the hedge to be removed so that Satan could have limited access to Job and bring grievous afflictions upon him, to test him. First all of his wealth, his servants and his children were taken from him, and later God removed the hedge about Job allowing Satan to attack Job directly.

This should bring up an important point to Christians. Satan petitions God for access to us, just as he did with Job. And many times when we are struck by tragedy or affliction, it is not because God punishing us, it is because Satan has asked permission to test us. Job endured his trials with patience and so should we.

Ok, back to hedges.

ECCLESIASTES 10:8

8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

Solomon apparently knew about this issue, for he quoted the Scripture above. This was not meant to be taken as a literal issue, but referred to the spiritual actions of people. Basically if you set a trap for harm to your neighbor, you will be swallowed in your own trap; and if you sin, you break God's protective hedge about you, and harm or destruction will follow.

God will sometimes remove His hedge to punish a person or a nation who has sinned against Him. In Isaiah, He uses an allegory of Judah as a vineyard, a vineyard which he labored to plant but which did not produce the fruit He had expected.

Note: Israel, the northern kingdom, had already been destroyed and it's inhabitants killed or deported by the Assyrians several hundred years earlier because of their sins, oppressions and idolatries. God had removed their hedge, but Judah had seen but had not learned Israel's bitter lesson.

Isaiah records;

ISAIAH 5:1-7

1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Scripture also records that Judah was destroyed shortly afterward and it's inhabitants deported as prisoners to Babylon for 70 years because of their iniquities. The hedge had been removed, and the enemy had been allowed to enter and lay waste to Judah and it's inhabitants.

After 70 years God allowed the inhabitants of Judah to return, but they quickly returned to their old ways. As a result they broke the hedge again, and God allowed their enemies to afflict them again. Finally in 70 A.D. He removed the hedge completely. The Roman X and XIII legions destroyed Judea and Jerusalem and God scattered the Jews to the ends of the earth for 1,878 years.

Israel again stands as a nation, but again the hedge has been broken and their enemies afflict them as we see on the news nearly every night.



If the hedge has been breached in our own lives, we can repent before the Lord and repair the hedge by our repentance and seeking to walk closely with the Lord again. But what can we do about other hedges that have been breached, namely those of a nation or in the lives of other believers who are being attacked?

God quotes an interesting Scripture through the prophet Ezekiel, when He says;

EZEKIEL 13:4-5

4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.

5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

God was about to bring Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon against Jerusalem and all of Judah, and yet false prophets were soothing the inhabitants of Jerusalem, turning them back to their sins when they should have been turning them to the Lord.

God rebukes them for not standing in the gaps in the hedge before Him so that he might turn from His anger. In fact, God wonders at this when He says again to Ezekiel;

EZEKIEL 22:29-31

29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

God wondered that there was no man who was willing to stand before Him for the nation. And as such, His anger was turned against Judah, and it's inhabitants were destroyed, and the remnant were deported to Babylon for 70 years.

Therefore God seeks for people willing to stand in the gap for their nation so that he need not destroy it. BUT, note this also. When a person decides to stand in the gap for another or a nation, Satan's full fury and assault will be directed against that person.

Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah, all true prophets before the Lord stood in the gap and all suffered as a result. Ezekiel and Isaiah were taken to Babylon. Legend states that Isaiah was later stuffed into a log and sawn in half, although there is no Scriptural basis for this.

Jeremiah suffered imprisonment and fear for his life at the hands of the king and princes of Judah during the latter days of his prophecy as Nebuchadnezzar was battering at the gates of Jerusalem. He was later unwillingly taken to Egypt by a rebellious remnant of Judah in spite of God's command to the contrary, and apparently died there.

Jesus, foretelling the destruction of Judea to come used the hedge example, knowing that the Jews knew very well what he meant by the allegory. Jesus said;

Mark 12:1-12

1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A [certain] man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about [it], and digged [a place for] the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught [him], and beat him, and sent [him] away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded [him] in the head, and sent [him] away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.

8 And they took him, and killed [him], and cast [him] out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

The story relates how God set up Jerusalem and Judea as a vineyard, with people to tend the land, asking only for their praise, thanksgiving and worship in return. But they rebelled and refused so He sent prophets to them and they were then mistreated, stoned or killed.

Finally He sends them Jesus, His only Son, whom they also killed. As a result, as history shows, God in His fury removed the hedge, destroyed the husbandmen (gardeners) and gave the land to others for 1,878 years.

Note also, that Jesus stood in the gap for the nation as well as the world, and suffered as a result.

More on this issue in a bit.

Sometimes God will create a contrary hedge, in which a person or nation will seek to do wrong, and will be prevented from doing so. Such was the case of Israel in the days of Hosea, who prophesied while the northern kingdom of Israel still existed.

Israel had again fallen into idolatry, and the whole nation had become corrupt. They relied on their alliances and trade with other nations rather than understanding that it was the Lord that had provided the food and drink for them.

God, seeking to return the nation to Himself portrayed Israel as an adulterous woman selling herself for wealth when He says;

Hosea 2:5-7

5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give [me] my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.

6 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find [them]: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then [was it] better with me than now.

God states to Israel that He will build a hedge about the nation, taking away the food and drink from the nation so that they will realize that turning to the Lord again is their only hope for salvation. Note that God refrains from destroying them, hoping that they will turn to Him again, much as He does with us as individuals. But He will only do so for a time, before He removes the hedge and allows the enemy to wreak destruction on the nation and in the lives of individuals.

We hadn't heard from a Christian friend for a long time, and had no way of contacting him. Shortly afterward, the Lord put it on our hearts that he needed help, but we had no idea where he was, nor did we have any way of contacting him.

So, I prayed to the Lord about him, and commanded in the name of Jesus that a hedge of thorns be put about him to protect him from Satan.

Shortly afterward, we sold our house, and were preparing to move, when this friend called us out of the blue. He said he was driving, when God suddenly spoke to him and told him he had better call us before we moved. He also said he felt as if something had grabbed the steering wheel, and the car began heading toward a roadside telephone.

Needless to say, he was astounded when he found out that we were indeed moving. He admitted he'd gone back to some old ways, and also mentioned that all of his partying friends had suddenly stopped calling and coming around. I asked him when this had happened, and found out that it was the very same day that I had commanded the hedge of thorns be placed around him. When he had called, he had been driving around trying to find his friends, and couldn't find anyone at home. He is now getting his life straight with the Lord, and is maintaining his own hedge.

The Lord will allow the hedge in such a case to remain for a while, and then will require us to maintain it, by keeping in close walk with Him. If we sin, we will break the hedge with the usual results.

Note this though. When you place a hedge around someone, be sure you have God's permission to do so first! To do otherwise will be to interfere with God's plan for a person's life and may hinder them.

Note also, that when a hedge is place around someone, you may not notice the results immediately. Case in point.

Some Christian friends, a man and a woman, both married but not to each other, began to have an interest in each other that was definitely leaning toward more than just friendship. I commanded a wall of thorns to be between them, and gradually over a period of several months they lost interest in each other, and became just friends as it should be.

Satan is also well aware of this trick and will use his own hedge, called a "cage" to isolate Christians, making them ineffective. True witches and sorcerers are well aware of this technique, and will cage bothersome Christians without their knowing it.

Case in point.

I had been working hard on this Web site, when I suddenly started losing interest in it. I started playing computer games more than working on the studies for this site, and was having a hard time maintaining my relationship with God.

I was in the shower contemplating the problem one day, when I muttered to myself, "I wonder if I've been caged?" Instantly I felt the cage break, and the demon maintaining the cage fled. I immediately took authority over him in the name of Jesus, bound him, and told him he would not tell his master that the cage had been broken.

My relationship with the Lord began to improve immediately, and as you can see, the Web site is on line. The Lord revealed to me also who had put the cage on me, and why.

An old girlfriend with whom I had been intimate before I came to Christ suddenly found me, and had begun showing up. Even when we moved, she still somehow found us. She was also into an eastern religion.

By the time she started showing up, I had been married for several years, and wasn't about to leave my wife. As such, apparently she had put an isolation cage upon me, to the effect of destroying my marriage, and isolating me for herself.

If you start suddenly feeling ineffective, or your Christian walk with the Lord starts dropping off, petition the Lord to see if a cage has been placed about you. If so, break it in the name of Jesus Christ, break the power of the demon(s) maintaining it, and order them to leave. If there is indeed a cage, your walk with the Lord will take a definite turn for the better!

Standing in the gap for someone or a church or a nation is a good thing, but had best require some careful thought and prayer first. Make sure that what is happening isn't a punishment from God against that individual or individuals.

And never, ever stand in the gap for someone unless you have the permission of the Lord first!

The reason for this is that when the enemy breaches a wall or hedge he will throw all of his available resources at that point. As such, anyone who stands in that gap will face the full fury of Satan's assault.

So if you do stand in the gap, don't be surprised when your finances suffer, your health suffers, and disasters happen in your life. Rather than ask God for deliverance from these things, remember that you have asked to defend this person or nation in the first place, and patiently wait for the Lord to order Satan to stop. In other words count the cost before you decide to stand in a gap.

And above all, be sure you wear the Armor before you do anything of the sort!

Before ANY spiritual battle, a wise soldier ensures that their armor is in good shape and strong enough to repel any assaults from the enemy. Satan seldom fights fair, and he will use anything he can if he feels it will give him an advantage. He will usually strike at finances and such, for then he doesn't have to do a personal assault against an armed and armored Christian, but if the Christian has no armor or isn't wearing it, he'll strike at your spirit too. Prepare carefully, and be ready for anything.

In some cases God will commission you to stand in the gap for someone. If so, then do so because He knows that you are strong enough to bear the brunt of Satan's assault. Be prepared, and resist the assault using spiritual warfare and the armor for protection.

I hate to put this in here, but I have seen it happen before. A person or family will be getting hammered by Satan, and a Christian stands in the gap for them. The person or family's life will improve while the person(s) standing in the gap comes under full-scale assault.

After a while, the person or family forgets that they have someone standing in the gap for them, and will enjoy a fruitful life, without taking thought to the poor Christian(s) who are protecting them. I know it's a horrifying thought, but it does happen.

If someone stands in the gap for you, as soon as you are strong enough, take your rightful place in the battle and fight your own battle. Do NOT allow others to remain besieged in your stead when you are strong enough to fight for yourself!

For if you do, God will exact a frightful vengeance against you, and your future state will be worse than it was at first.

Above all, remember this. This is spiritual warfare, and is not to be taken lightly! If you stand in the gap for someone, you will suffer. If you place a hedge about someone, chances are very good Satan will find out who did it and will attack you. And if you break the hedge of protection about yourself, Satan will enter the hole and attack.

Bottom line:

We need to seriously consult with the Lord, and count the cost before we do any kind of spiritual warfare. We need to petition God before we stand in the gap for anyone, and make sure we have His permission before we do so. We need to remain free from sin, wear the armor every day and walk closely with the Lord daily.

And may Jesus Christ open your eyes to the truth of what's written here, so that you may be better prepared for the battles which surround us.

Questions? Comments? E-mail: watchmen_777@yahoo.com

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