“Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  Job 1:10 NKJV

For anyone who has read or knows the book of Job.  It is a difficult book to read.  It took my husband years to read through the entire book! He’d get so far in the book and then he’d stop reading because of Job’s terrible trouble.

There is an idiom in the English language:  “to have the patience of Job”. It’s a reference to Job’s unending and absolute, unshakeable faith in God despite the trials Job goes through.  His afflictions are many: physically, his family, and his possessions.  More than a single person can even comprehend much less endure. And yet, his love of God never waivers.

Let’s look at the context of today’s verse.  In verse one through five the Bible gives us Job’s background.   Job was from Uz and he was blameless, feared God and shunned evil.  He has seven sons and three daughters. The Bible tells us of his many possessions and how his sons would feast on an appointed day and invite their sisters.  Job sacrificed for his sons in verse five if they had sinned.

In verses six through nine, there’s a conversation between God and Satan where God tells Satan to consider His servant Job who is blameless and there is none like him in all the earth.  This leads us to today’s verse.

In verse ten, today’s verse, Satan tells God that He has protected Job by putting a hedge around him.  Job’s life had no terrible trouble…no health issues, no financial worries, and no family issues.  Satan is goading God to see if Job is who God thinks he is.  (We know Job is who God says he is because God can see the heart of man.) God, through Job, will prove Satan’s error. 

How can this verse help us live in today’s world?  There is one thing I know for sure and that is: prayer works. I have prayed for protection for my children, grandchildren, extended family and friends in all areas of their lives.  Do I believe God has put a hedge of protection around my family and friends? Absolutely. I have no doubt whatsoever.

Case in point.  Years ago, my daughter studied in Luxembourg for a fall semester with sixty other college students.  A small class. Long before she left, I began to pray for her.  The day she left, I laid hands on her and prayed. For her safety while traveling throughout Europe. 

She called periodically, and she had said she had been traveling to various large cities in Europe.  Even to cities the students were advised not to travel to because of the terrorist activity. She had told me she was planning on a ski trip to the French Alps.  I thought nothing of it at the time since I knew she knew how to ski.

But I came home from work one evening to a voice message on my phone from someone at the school in Luxemburg.  The message was that my daughter was fine but that I’d probably had already heard a skiing accident in the French Alps where  I immediately called my daughter’s host family but with the time difference and language barrier the host family kept hanging up on me. 

I walked the floors most of the night waiting until I could call and not have the host family hang up. I must have dozed off because the phone began to ring and it was my daughter.  Her host mother thought one of my daughter’s friends kept calling in the middle of the night.  My daughter realized her friends would never call in the middle of the night and that it was me who had called.

She told me she had gone to Prague because it was one city she loved in Europe.  At this point, I was reluctant to tell her what had happened.  I gently asked her about her friends that went on a ski trip.  She said other students wanted her to go but she didn’t feel comfortable about the trip.  (I believe the Holy Spirit told her not to go.) When I explained what had happened, she immediately wanted to go to the school because she had no idea what had happened since she had been out of town.

Coincidence?  I think not.  God’s love for His children who pray and love Him far outweighs the terrible things that can happen.  In today’s world, we need all the help we can get. And while the enemy can cause trouble throughout the world, we have the power to overcome that trouble through prayer to God, our savior.  For strength and power to overcome…just as Job did.