Satan himself acknowledges that God has a protective hedge all around the righteous and that the hedge protects not only themselves but all that they have — including their descendants.
When seeking to tear Job down, Satan complained to God, "Hast thou not made a hedge around him, and his house, and all that he has on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land" (Job 1:10).
Hedge, shield, and wall are synonymous in God's Word. Shield is from the Hebrew root GANAN, which means to cover, surround, defend. These words are interchangeable — speaking of Christ covering, surrounding and protecting His righteous ones on every side. God was Job's shield, a covering or canopy under which he was untouchable by any enemy. God's presence surrounded him as a wall.
Shield is a covenant word. God said to Abraham, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you" (Genesis 15:1). In other words, "I am a hedge and wall about you on all sides — you have nothing to fear from any enemy."
How powerful were the final words of Moses as he blessed Israel. He sang out, "Blessed are you, O Israel; who is like you, a people saved by the Lord. Who is the shield of your help, and the sword of your majesty! So your enemies shall cringe before you, and you shall tread upon their high places" (Deuteronomy 33:29).
David feared no enemy — no devil, no demon, no living soul! He testified, "I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me" (Psalm 3:5). Why could David sleep so well each night and wake up with such renewed strength? Because the hedge was up around him! He said, "But thou, O Lord, art a shield about me…my glory, and the One who lifts up my head" (Psalm 3:3).
Behind that shield, that protective hedge, David was safe from every enemy attack. Nothing on earth or out of the pits of hell could touch him. He could say, "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about…for thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek: thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked" (Psalm 3:6,7). The demon hordes that came against him had to flee, having been shattered by the hedge about David. They could not penetrate that wall!
Our almighty covenant God has placed a shield around all who walk before Him blameless and pure in heart! The hedge was not only around Job, it was around Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David — and is still round about all saints who walk in righteousness and fear of God!
In making covenant with Abraham, God commanded him, "Walk before me, and be blameless, and I will establish my covenant between me and you" (Genesis 17:1). In other words, "Abraham, walk before me blameless, and you need never again fear, because I covenant with you to be your shield and hedge against all enemies that will ever come against you or against any of your descendants."
David testified, "For I have kept the way of the Lord, and have not acted wickedly against my God. For all His ordinances were before me, and as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also blameless toward Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity" (2 Samuel 22:22–24).
He added, "With the blameless thou dost shew thy self blameless (2 Samuel 22:26). Meaning, those who keep their part of the covenant will experience perfect and blameless shielding from all enemies.
Just how safe is a man of God who walks in covenant with God — blameless and pure in heart? What effect does Satan or his powers of darkness have upon the righteous who forsake their iniquities? David makes it most clear that victory is certain for those who are pure. "Thy help makes me great…I pursued my enemies and destroyed them. And I did not turn back until they were consumed. And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise, and they fell under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength for battle: thou hast subdued under me those who rose up against me, thou hast also made my enemies turn their backs to me, and I destroyed those who hated me…Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth, I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the street" (2 Samuel 22:36–43).
What a testimony of protection and victory. He could boast, "Satan and his evil hordes surrounded me, but God's shield made me invincible. I pulverized the enemy. I trampled him to the ground. I sent him running — Idefeated every foe. The powers of darkness hate me. They tried to come against me, but they couldn't lay a hand on me — I crushed them with God's help! The enemy is shattered and I am safe and sound behind the hedge."
God is a hedge about every child of His who walks in integrity and purity. "He is a shield to those who walk in integrity" (Proverbs 2:7). "For the Lord God is a sun and shield…no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11). "He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him" (Proverbs 30:5).
Those who are wicked and divided in heart have broken the covenant, and they are defenseless against the principalities and powers of darkness. "But to the wicked God says, What right have you to tell of my statutes, and to take my covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you…You associate with adulterers…you let your mouth loose in evil, and your tongue frames deceit" (Psalm 50:16–21).
Israel broke their covenant with God. They had been clearly warned what would happen to them if they disobeyed God. They knew they would lose the hedge and become an easy prey to every kind of enemy. "If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou was afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought" (Deuteronomy 28:58–67).
Israel was given a choice! Follow the Lord and be blameless — and be protected. Or, turn away and be overwhelmed by the powers of darkness. "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life" (Deuteronomy 30:15–20).
Incredibly, Israel chose to walk in disobedience — turning away from the covenant to follow their lusts. What horrible disasters followed! David cried, "Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbors; and our enemies laugh among themselves" (Psalm 80:5,6).
Why did the enemy laugh now at Israel! Because the hedge was down! "Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the woods doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it" (Psalm 80:12–13).
Satan is the boar who eats away in their vineyard. Demonic powers pass through at will, devouring the fruit — because the shield is gone! The hedge is broken down. And why? Because the people of God were walking in stubborn and willful disobedience to God. "But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries" (Psalm 81:11–14).
I tremble at the prophetic word of the prophet Isaiah. It is not speculation — it is something God said He fully intends to do.
First, hear the testimony of Jesus about the wall He has built around His people, His vineyard, "Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country" (Matthew 21:33).
But God said that hedge is coming down — because of sin! "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 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? 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: 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" (Isaiah 5:3–6).
God is telling us what He is most certainly going to do. I believe He is doing it right now. There is a harlot church on the earth today that has become the devil's playground. It is made up of deceived Christians who wink at sin. They are self–willed, lovers of pleasure, who no longer blush over their iniquities. They have divided hearts; they are holding to a form of godliness with no power. They have their idols; they refuse to give up their secret pet lusts; and they are blinded by a false peace.
This harlot church is described in Deuteronomy 29 as blinded by a false peace. "…And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst" (Deuteronomy 29:19).
God warns that He will break down their hedge and single them out for adversity and curses. "The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law" (Deuteronomy 29:20, 21).
David knew what it was like to break covenant and be singled out for adversity and trouble on all sides. God had told David, "My covenant I will not violate" (Psalm 89:34). But God did not violate it — David did. Even though God never breaks off his lovingkindness — yet He still visits transgressions with the rod. "Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail" (Psalm 89:32, 33).
Take heed as you hear David tell of a plundering enemy who brought ruin into his life because of sin. "But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou has been wroth with thine anointed. Thou has made void the covenant of thy servant; thou has profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. Thou has broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him, he is a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and has not made him to stand in the battle" (Psalm 89:38–43).
Is not this the reason why so many Christians are being plundered by Satan? They are not able to stand up against demonic powers and principalities of darkness because God has removed their hedge. They were once His anointed, but now they are under siege by the forces of hell — because they have no godly sorrow for sin left in them. They refuse to repent and forsake their worldly ways. Disobedience has brought upon them an avalanche of adversity and troubles of all kinds. They hide and justify their sins. True — not all suffering is a result of sin. There is a discipline administered by our loving Father. Some, like Job, are being tested so they can come forth as pure gold. Yet sin always brings down the hedge.
How terrible when God removed the hedge about Jerusalem. Jeremiah could hardly believe his eyes at the sight of swift and horrible disaster and unbelievable devastation at the hands of the enemy. He cried, "The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer" (Lamentations 1:4–6).
Jeremiah very accurately describes what happened to Israel when they broke covenant and lost their hedge. Speaking for them he said, "The enemy has come upon my neck…He has made my strength fail; the Lord has given me into the hands of those against whom I am not able to stand" (Lamentations 1:14).
That is exactly what I see happening in the church today, as multitudes are being overwhelmed by satanic attacks. So few can stand up now and resist. So few have any spiritual authority left. Satan is coming against them like an overflowing flood, and their strength fails them. It is usually directly related to the sin remaining in them. They refuse to be searched by the light of God's Word. They are not coming to the light to have sin exposed. They instead flirt about in adultery, fornication, and lusts of all kinds. They sit passively before their idols of TV, corrupt movies and pornography. There is much fear, unbelief, gossip, slander and cursing. Others do not pray, they forget the Lord days on end, and they are no longer intimate with the beloved Savior.
Then they wonder why the enemy plunders their lives and homes. How blind can we be? Our sins have forced the Lord to remove the hedge from us.
We have completely lost the fear of God if we do not tremble at this warning — "I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground. And I will lay it waste…I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it" (Isaiah 5:5,6).
God is speaking of the church, of our lives, and especially of our children and grandchildren. A famine of God's Word — no revelation! A home trampled upon, laid waste. God promised to establish a covenant not only with Abraham, but also with all his descendants: with his children, grandchildren, and all his posterity. "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" (Genesis 17:7).
The importance of walking in covenant, blameless and pure in heart, is that it provides a hedge and shield for us and all our descendants. It is a safeguard for our posterity. Certainly God will visit the transgressions of our children and grandchildren upon them, but through all the troubles and adversity He will remember the covenant with the father and mother who walked blameless before Him — and He will remember mercy in wrath. We must command our children to walk blameless too so they can walk in security, protected by the divine hedge. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off" (Psalm 37:37, 38).
Saul broke covenant and God removed the hedge. How sad to read of the tragic end of this once mighty anointed man dying with his sons by the hand of the enemy. He and his posterity were cut off.
When the Bible says the hedge is removed, it actually means the presence of the Lord leaves. Self–will and disobedience in Saul caused the Lord to reject him. "But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee" (1 Samuel 16:14,15).
God permitted Satan to get to Saul after He took His spirit from him. Satan terrorized this troubled man. It was once said of Saul, "The spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them" (1 Samuel 10:10). Compare that with 1 Samuel 18:10. "An evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house."
Preachers' wives write to me telling of husbands who rant and rave and hit them. Others tell me of temper fits — wild outbursts, throwing them against the wall, hurting them — followed by remorse and tender apologies. It is the spirit of Satan himself. It is demonic. It happens because the Lord has departed from their lives. The wall is down, all is desolation — and the whole family suffers as a result. Ichabod is written on their hearts and mines.
Saul's sinful heart brought disaster upon all his house! "And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons. "So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armour bearer, and all his men, that same day together" (1 Samuel 31:2,6). "And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa. And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and went into the land of the Philistines round about to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people. And they put his armour in the house of their god, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon" (1 Chronicles 10:8–10).
The cry of the sins of this nation has reached into the heavens. Our cup of iniquity is overflowing. I believe the prophet Ezekiel saw the kind of judgment God will pour upon us — He will remove the hedge and leave us "an unwalled nation." We will be vulnerable to every enemy. "After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (Ezekiel 38:8–11).
This is more than a prophecy about Russia invading Israel. America too is a melting pot of people who are gathered from all nations. I believe it is a dual prophecy, directed also at this nation, the greatest of all Christian nations on earth. We have millions who claim to be "the Israel of faith" — all born–again descendants of Abraham — the true seed of promise.
This nation was once God fearing, spiritual; and Christ was exalted in our midst. Now He is defamed, cursed, and cast out of our schools and courts. As many as 150,000 lesbians and homosexuals at a time parade our city streets, brazenly flaunting their perversions. Our courts legalized the murdering of millions of unborn babies — there is much blood on our hands. Yes, there is still a vocal Christian multitude — but so few of them walk in holiness and purity. There is much lip service to the Lord, but little of total surrender and separation. It is a nation corrupted by greed, materialism, lust, and violence. It is a church backslidden, weak, and plundered by Satan. A Laodicean stupor has come upon the harlot church.
Church of God — wake up! Our walls have crumbled! The hedge is being removed. The shield is gone! We are that nation without bars and gates. That is why even the smallest and weakest of nations can badger and hold us hostage. Our enemies laugh at our impotence to act. America is now an unwalled nation!
Each passing year the evidence piles up that God has removed the hedge He once had around this nation. Droughts get worse. Locust and grasshoppers destroy our crops. Floods are becoming more numerous and more destructive. Volcanos, long dormant, now erupt. Fires sweep entire states. Storms are becoming more sinister and threatening. Strange diseases are spreading, killing thousands. National and international debt keeps piling up. Trade balances are frightening. Everywhere you turn now people ask, "What's going on? Why so much disaster? Why are so many things going wrong?" The hedge is down! The shield has been removed! The walls are crumbling! It is the Lord's doing — because this nation has broken covenant with a holy God!
I receive word now almost daily from dear believers who tell me, "Our pastor, our elders, don't believe what you are prophesying. They say you are just a doomsday preacher trying to scare people. They say you have not received this hard message from the Lord."
So the pastors (though they are few) and the elders get up before the people and give forth their soothing messages and glowing, comforting prophecies of peace and blessing. One elder prophesied, "American will not be judged because we are praying! We will not see trouble or adversity. Be not alarmed." And the crowd loved it — loudly applauding.
I don't need to answer that. The prophet Jeremiah already has. "And the Lord hath sent unto you all her servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever. And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt" (Jeremiah 25:4–6).
This is the promise if we repent — all of us, and forsake all our idols and turn to the Lord with all our hearts. But there is a further word from God that these prophets of peace and blessing had better take heed to — or they will be held accountable for counseling rebellion and blinding the eyes of the disobedient. My Bible says there will be no peace, no blessing, but only adversity when there is sin and rebellion. I don't care what they prophesy — the Bible says this:
"To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish" (Jeremiah 6:10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21).
"For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; where there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 8:11,12).
Ezekiel makes it even stronger. Hear it — all you prophets crying "Peace, don't be alarmed, all is well, God is not a God of judgment, but only mercy." "And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 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. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God. Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar: say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall: and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be a overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; to wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord God. Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of my people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them" (Ezekiel 13:1–17).
Read it and tremble, saints of God! "So I shall tear down the wall…The wall is gone…I shall spend my wrath on the wall" (Ezekiel 13:14, 15). These are liars, Ezekiel said, who prophesy falsely because of monetary reasons. To keep money flowing! To promote giving! "And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: therefore ye shall see no more vanity, no divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 13:19, 22, 23).
The Lord has a holy people in these last days — apeople who are forsaking this world and its lusts. A people separated, pure in heart, who prepare themselves as a bride awaiting her groom. This world is not their home anymore — they long to be with Jesus their Lord. This world has no charm for them — it has lost its hold. They are not wrapped up in seeking success, or money, or prosperity, or fame, or power! Christ is all to them. For these, Christ Himself has promised to be to them a wall of fire round about! "For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her" (Zechariah 2:5).
The remnant who walk in covenant, blameless, pure in heart, will heed the words of the watchman the Lord has placed on their walls — and they will be delivered from all the powers of hell and darkness. "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their piece day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: but they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord: and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness" (Isaiah 61:6–9).
I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies! God is still a hedge about the righteous.