Hedge of Protection

In a video that Darlene and I did a few weeks ago for our LCC family, (watch here) we discussed praying for God to put a hedge of protection around you and your family. I’d like to share a little bit more about that with you. 

In the first chapter of Job, God points out to Satan that Job is "blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil" (vs. 8). Satan replies in verse 10, "Does Job fear God for nothing?...Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?" It is common for Christians to adapt this verse and pray a "hedge of protection" around a friend or family member, but few people understand the original inspiration behind the phrase.

In the time of the Old Testament, wild animals were much more prevalent in the Middle East than they are today. The Bible mentions lions (Judges 14:5), wolves (Jeremiah 5:6), bears (1 Samuel 17:34), leopards (Hosea 13:7), and hyenas (Isaiah 13:22).

Although stone walls could keep predators away from living areas and livestock, the walls would have to be very tall and would take a long time to make. Wood was not plentiful enough to waste on a fence. Instead, a hedge of thorn bushes could be induced to grow around a living compound. Thorn bushes would be too dense to crawl through, too sharp to chew through, and too deep for all but the most determined leopard to jump over.

It is good for us to ask God for a hedge of protection around ourselves or someone else. In addition to putting on the armor God gives us (Ephesians 6:13-17), there is nothing wrong with asking for God’s protection. As seen with Job, a hedge is an apt illustration for what God’s protection looks like. 

The Old Testament Hebrew word really means “wall.” When it came to a village, town, or city, a “hedge” was a defensive wall often built around a city. The bottom part might be comprised of stones or hard packed dirt, and there might be thorny plants on the top of it. The general idea of a hedge is that of a protective fence–a barrier. In his conversation with God, Satan pointed out that God had built a spiritual hedge around Job, around his family (household) and around all his possessions. Job couldn’t see the hedge, but Satan could. 

There are many things that exist in the spiritual world that are invisible to our eyes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real – they are. It is a wonderful insight to realize God can provide a spiritual barrier around His servants to protect them from spiritual attacks. God’s hedge is not a hedge of stones or a hedge of plants; it’s a hedge of His providential protection. 

Let us never forget, however, as it is with all prayer, the Hedge Prayer of Protection is not a magic bullet. There are no guarantees that the hedge surrounding us cannot be breached. We can allow Satan and his demons to breach the hedge by our carelessness of leaving the gate open, through direct or indirect invitation to demonic powers, through sins of commission and omission, through holes left unrepaired after sins are confessed and forgiven, etc. Even if there are no other reasons, God may allow demons to breach the hedge, as He did with Job, for purposes of testing, learning, or other Divine Reasons that only God may know.

I encourage you to pray this prayer, or a similar prayer, over yourself and your loved ones today.

Trusting, Father God, in the promise that whatever we ask you in the name of Jesus you will do it, we now approach You with confidence. We ask from our desire to serve You, adore You, and to live our lives for You that You build a hedge of protection around us, like that which surrounded Job, and to help us to keep that hedge in good repair and the gate locked so that the enemy and all demonic principalities and powers will have no access or means to breach the hedge except by Your expressed will.Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, we stand against the spiritual forces of evil, while recognizing our utter dependence on You and Your power.

By the victory Jesus won on the cross, protect us – spiritually, emotionally, and physically –from all evil and rebuke any evil spirits who wish to attack, influence, or breach Your hedge of protection in any way. Send them back to Hell and fortify Your hedge for our protection by the blood of Your Son, Jesus.

Father God, all of these things we ask in the most holy name of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayer. We love You, we worship You, we thank You and we trust in You. Amen.