"Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection?" (Job 1:10).
It is God's love that puts a hedge about us; it is our choice to wander away from that love which constrains us from doing harm to ourselves and others; to wander beyond the security that He has lovingly determined for us. Sometimes we want to do something and yet we know instinctively that it would be wrong. Our conscience is one of God's hedges to warn us that certain actions, reactions and transactions are against His goals for us, goals that are in God's best interests as well as our own. He asks us to define that word hedge as a refuge, not as a prison.
It is that master of deceit, Satan, who suggests that God has put this enclosure around us. He started in the Garden of Eden, when he said, “Did not God say…?” It is a fact that God protects us and it is a fact that the Adversary is busy tearing down the border and exposing us, always. It is our decision to circumvent God's hedge or to accept its boundaries of love for us, through prayer and the diligent reading of His instructions that are in His Word to us.
“There is many a hedge that we have hardly ever noticed, and certainly have never properly valued. God has given some of us a hedge in the example and teaching of good and pious parents; in the influence of good teachers; in the form of good companionships; in the discipline we have to undergo in the home, in the school, and in life. A hedge not only shelters, it often keeps us from wandering. Sometimes we do not like hedges; we should like to see more of the country, and wander at will. God’s way of hedging us in is not always by sending us blessings which we are pleased to accept, but sometimes by sending us sorrow and trial. He thus keeps us in our places and guards us against going astray. That was the kind of hedge that Job did not like. The farmer sometimes plants thorns in his hedges, and we must not be surprised if God does. After all, a hedge may become a very lovely thing. What would the landscape often be without hedges? God makes the hedges along the country full of beauty, poetry, and song. And in our lives here, this is just what the Lord Jesus has done. The old Law of Moses was like a stone hedge. The hedges of the Lord Jesus are like our quick-set hedges. He makes His commandments sweet and welcome, and the ways of His testimonies full of delight. It is the love of Christ constrains us, and that is always a sweet constraint.” (David Davies.)
The prodigal son broke through the hedges of his father’s love and wound up in a far country of sorrow. Thank God that he finally said, “I will arise and return to my father.” This broken son realized that his father’s hedges were protection and salvation. Young people resent being “told what to do” but, in the final analysis, parents, teachers and companions, if they walk with God, are the beautiful hedges so these dear young people can realize their potential.
Patricia Erwin Nordman