Suffering Brings Closeness // Thursday, August 21
Posted: Thursday, August 21
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
Verse of the day:
Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. (Job 1:10)
If you’ve grown up in church you’ve surely heard countless people pray for a ‘hedge of protection’. I have to admit that I sometimes laugh when I hear this because it is quintessential ‘Christianese’; language familiar to Christians but foreign to everyone else.
This expression can be found in Job chapter 1. Satan is having a conversation with God and he observes that the Lord had placed a hedge around Job to protect him from his enemies. This protection was all a part of God’s blessing on Job’s life, but how did Job get to this place where he lived within the hedge? Job 1:1 says ‘ This man [Job] was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.’ Walking closely with the Lord and living in holiness is living in the hedge. We’ll never know in this life how many times God protected us from accidents, calamity and illness.
In the life of Job God pulled back the hedge and allowed this man to experience dramatic suffering. Yet at the end of this painful season Job was able to say ‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you’ [Job 42:5].
We all want to say what Job said; we want to have that deeper relationship with God. But would Job have known God in this way if he always had a hedge of protection?
Lord, thank you for your protection as well as the pain that draws me close to you.
Pastor Jon Brooks // College & Young Adult Pastor