Have you ever considered what it would take to cause you to renounce your faith in the Almighty God? Satan likes to ask that question about every faithful child of God. He is studying and watching for our weaknesses, waiting for that one thing that will make us turn back to him. Satan wondered the same thing about a man named Job (Job 1:6-11). He told God the only reason Job served Him was because God had put a “hedge” around him.
Why would Satan believe this?
Job’s character was remarkable, “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” (Job 1:1). God had blessed Job with seven sons and three daughters. He was wealthy and considered the greatest of all the men of the east (vv.2-3). Satan believed that Job’s faithfulness and love for God was a result of God’s blessings upon him.
Bible students know that God allowed Satan to remove the “hedges” in Job’s life. His property was taken away suddenly and his children died. Job was afflicted from head to foot with boils and sat in ashes, apparently cast out from society. Job’s wife turned on him, telling him to curse God and die. His friends came and failed miserably in trying to comfort him. The “hedges” were removed but Job never sinned (Job 1:22) (Job 2:10). There was nothing that was going to cause Job to turn away from God. Why? Job’s love for God was not based on the amount of property, size of family, health issues or his good fortune in life.
Why do you serve God?
It is an important question because Satan is asking the same question about you and me today! What “hedges” in your life does Satan want taken down?
- Maybe your hedge is a job! God has always wanted man to work (Gen 2:15) (1 Tim. 5:8). The question is would you remain faithful if you did not have a means of making money? How long would your savings account last? How would you eat and pay your bills? If this hedge was removed would your attitude be like Job’s, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21-22).
- Maybe your hedge is freedom! If America was conquered and it became a crime to be a Christian, would you have the courage to say, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29b)? What if, like Joseph (Gen. 39:20), you were wrongly accused and put in prison. Would you remain faithful to God?
- Maybe your hedge is family! Christians claim to love the Lord, but what if everyone in your family perished as Job’s did? Would you lose your faith in the Almighty God? Would you leave the Lord? I have known Christians who were faithful until they lost a loved one. Then they left the Lord, blaming Him for their loss. Jesus states in (Matt. 10:37) “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”. Would you still love and obey the Lord if you lost a loved one?
- Maybe your hedge is good health! It is not uncommon, when things are going bad in our lives, for someone to remark, “Well, at least you still have your health”! But what if you got sick or hurt and could no longer function normally? It is human nature to try and get well. What if you spent all you had and despite the prayers and the doctor’s best efforts, you never regained your health? Life, as you have known it, ceased to exist.
Would you remain faithful?
Job was humbled and made better by his suffering brought on by Satan. God allowed Job to regain his health and blessed him with more than he had before the “hedges” were removed (Job 42:12-13). Let us all follow the example of Job! If by chance or misfortune the “hedges” in our lives are removed, may we all turn not away from the only true and living God! Let our trust in God be like Job’s, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15).
Is God really first in your life or is He only first when the “hedges” are in place?
Rufus Clifford III