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Our Protection From Above

April 18, 2017

What do the words shadow, encampeth, hedge, rest, abide, and seek all have in common? They are powerful descriptions and vivid imagery that bring to mind “kept hearts and minds” by “the peace that passeth all understanding through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). We have this peace because Christ reaches out with His everlasting arms to comfort and protect us. They are the comforts that only born again believers can experience as they put their faith and trust in Him. This peace brings us to a place of serenity in the newness of life never before realized. It’s a place of untold devotion, faith, and humility before the Creator God. It soothes the hearts, minds, and souls of those who diligently seek that sacred place of love and commitment. Let’s now look at how God uses each of these words in the Bible for our comfort and joy.

Shadow (Definition) – A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.

As David was fleeing the murderous grip of King Saul, he cried out to God for that sweet resting place “in the shadow of thy wings.” David’s spiritual instincts led him to seek refuge in the only place where he knew he would be safe. David was experiencing calamities in both the physical and spiritual realms. It was warfare that only God could impact and control.  

“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” (Palms 57:1) 

David knew that the shining power of God’s light and the subsequent shadow it created, would be sufficient as a protective barrier against King Saul’s merciless attacks. The radiant hues of light and brightness were (are) in such a state of illumination that all David needed were the shadows cast by God for safety. This was a clear acknowledgement by David of his Lord’s awesome power and might. There was no question in David’s mind that this was the appropriate resting place and the only place that he could hide.

Encampeth (Definition) - To pitch tents or form huts, as an army; to halt on a march, spread tents and remain for a night or for a longer time, as an army or company.

Is there any better imagery of protection than that of the Lord’s angel encamping Christians who would fear Him? That is exactly what this verse is telling us.

“The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” (Palms 34:7)

If we truly fear the Lord, He will deliver you from the enemies of this world. A promise of elevated and monumental proportions. Fear Him, and the encampment will ensue!

Hedge (Definition) – A fence or boundary formed by closely growing bushes or shrubs.

God’s hedge of protection is evident in the life of his devoted servant Job. Satan, himself, acknowledged the protective barrier when he asked God to allow him to “try” Job and his resolve toward the things of the Lord in times of trouble and distress.

“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” (Job 1:10)

Basically, Satan was saying that he wanted a “go at” Job without the impenetrable hedge of protection shown to those that are obedient to Him. If you recall, Job showed unwavering obedience and devotion to God and was blessed. I believe that God also builds a hedge of protection around Christians when we accept Him as Savior. The Holy Spirit and our guardian angels will also “keep us” toward that end.

Rest (Definition) - Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

Not only does God want us to rest in Him so we can refresh ourselves, but He wants us to stop trying to run the race on our own in a devilish and earthly manner. In other words, He wants us to rely on Him and the Spirit of God compared to the weak and depraved intellectual capacity of man trying to direct his affairs in this life. He wants us to practice “skilled living” by resting in His wisdom and might.

“For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:10)

When we do enter into His rest, God can mightily use man as instruments of His righteous. By contrast, when we fail to enter into His rest, we rely on the power of man versus the power of the spirit that resides within believers.

Abide (Definition) – The power to sustain without flinching or breaking.

When we abide in Christ, we are acknowledging that the totality of His Word is all that we want or need. We are telling the world that His Word has the power to sustain us for an eternity. In the Bible, we find the roadmap for the intricacies of life whose author is the great “I am.” He is an author so holy and righteous that we must fall prostrate before His throne. Praise the Lord!   

There are two verses in John that are especially appropriate and illustrate the point of abiding in Christ.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” (John 15:4)

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)

Seek (Definition) – An attempt to find (something).

What kind of attempt are you putting forth to find the Lord? Are you diligently searching the scriptures for an understanding of your best friend? God delights in pleasing His children. He wants us to ask, seek, and knock. I pray that we would all seek the riches and wisdom found in His Word. I pray that our seeking and importunity is such that the Lord is fully satisfied with our pleas. 

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” (Matthew 7:7)

The protective nature of our Lord knows no bounds or limits. God stands ready to accept all those who call upon His name. He stands ready to fortify the encampments and hedges needed for our full and utter protection. Won’t you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul? 


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