Thursday, February 23, 2012

Broken Hedges

 8Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
 9Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
 10The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
 11She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
 12Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
 13The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
 14Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
 15And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
 16It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
 17Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
 18So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
 19Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. 

Broken Hedges

As we read through the Old Testament, we are not at all surprised when God finally brought judgment upon His people. From the very beginning God promised to be faithful to them as long as they faithfully served Him. His promises were always cloaked in warnings should they cease from serving Him. Throughout their entire history, they seemed to only serve Him in a half-hearted manner, continually flirting with the gods and idols worshiped by their neighbors.

They were, indeed, a chosen people. Transplanted to Egypt during years of famine, they grew into a strong vine. From Egypt God moved them to their new home where they took root and filled the land. As long as they remained faithful, God put a hedge of protection around them. Presuming upon God, they seemed to alternate between periods of serving God and periods of rejecting Him for the gods and idols of their neighbors.

God continually warned them, and yet, when He removed His arm of protection, they seemed to be surprised by the broken hedges. Was there no help for them apart from God? No!

Rightly, Asaph, the writer of Psalm 80 proclaimed,
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Asaph understood that theirs was a spiritual problem; they did not need a stronger army, but rather, they needed a stronger faith!

Does God work in the same manner today? Does He have any control over the affairs of this world? When one nation rises to power and another falls, do they do so at the hand of God? Yes!

We live in a time when it seems that all of the countries in the world have forgotten God. Is there any nation remaining that truly serves God? Do we find any country whose leaders bow before God, seeking His wisdom in making their decisions? Sadly, that nation no longer exists!

Does that mean that God has no control over the affairs of this world? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Even before Adam and Eve sinned, God had set a plan of redemption in place which would culminate with a final war of good versus evil. In one mighty cry, sin will be silenced forever!

As Christians, we should examine our "hedges!" If it seems as though we have broken hedges, we must go to our Lord, confess our sin, and seek His help. We will discover that we are most content with our lives when we are faithfully serving God. Let us pray, as did Asaph, that God would turn us again and cause our face to shine.

Only in Christ will we have a strong hedge about us, for He, alone, is our Rock and Salvation!

God Bless You,
Linda


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