"Hedged about with Mercy"
August 1, 2011

C. R. Oliver

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August 1, 2011

"Hedged about with Mercy"

Ps 32:10-11
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

           A luncheon, with a devoted and very spiritual man, was the occasion God used to engender this study entitled, "Hedged about with Mercy." As conversation progressed, the brother began relating how he had lived his life up to that point. In brief, he unfolded a scheme of living which will bear fruit in the life of anyone who will adopt its premises.
          He began by saying he learned by prayer and intense times with the Lord to make a wall or hedge about the things given him by God as his inheritance: his family, his belongings, his personal experiences. This was his field or vineyard. At first, it was a small vineyard. He asked the angels to help him close off any venue that would allow satan into his plot. He asked the Holy Spirit to assist him in ferreting out anything growing in the soil of his heart (or the heart of his loved ones) that might be a vein to bring about evil or destruction. Turning with a sober expression, He declared that such activity took time and patience--but yielded great results. Before long, sickness disappeared in the lives of his two sons. His wife and he began to experience a harmony that was not describable. He reiterated that he was always quick to respond to the Spirit's promptings and sought the Spirit's daily (almost minute by minute) input in his life. Harmony and blessings at home fostered his ability to have a peaceful work environ.
          Staying on this course, he expanded his vineyard to include others of his family (relatives) and even friends or persons the Lord would bring into his life (which thankfully included me). God would show him things about the others, and with a gentle spirit, he would pray until they were confessed or corrected and the soil of those hearts was good ground like his own.
          Slowly, he shared how, with prayer and staying close to God's word, his inheritance grew to a huge portion. Yes, he grew spiritually along with the added responsibilities, but always kept the basic premise of planting only in good soil. His sons are now grown and haven't experienced a sick day in their lives. Aging, with its threats of pain and dysfunction, found him utilizing his tried and true principles of bringing symptoms under authority. He doesn't receive them, won't tolerate their incursion, and stymies them at the offset.
          Tears came to his eyes as he recounted having to stand strong many times in the confidence of the Lord to overcome the vicissitudes of life. He stood when others were crumbling in their resolve, often being criticized as being unrealistic and practicing avoidance behavior.
          As he told his life experiences, I too entered his estate and looked about at the vastness of his vineyard. I thought of the correlative Scriptures that support his life style. I found myself reaching back to the time when I worked so diligently on Solomon's Secret and to the garden scene as well as the "wall" passages in Song 8.

The Garden of the Heart:
King Jesus speaks:
Song 4:10-5:1 How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices!
11 Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse, A spring shut up, A fountain sealed.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits, fragrant henna with spikenard,
14 Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices -
15 A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters, And streams from Lebanon.

The Bride speaks:
16 Awake, O north wind, And come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.

King Jesus replies:
I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk.

Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!
Importance of enclosure:
           Because the Song of Solomon is a modern day prophetic book about the Bride of Christ, it requires us to realize the importance of closing off the outside world and putting a barrier between us and satan. (Observing the number of people who are praying for a great outpouring from God and the combined early and latter rain, I want to voice my NO, -- not now, postulate. As pointed out by my friend, "rain brings up and causes whatever is planted to surface and bear fruit. Given what has been planted by religion and citizenry, this would be disastrous. Without repentance and the weeding of the heart, that pruning away of the evil, evil would overtake the world in a flash …should God supply those rains.")

Pleasure of His plantings:           The Shulamite bride, in the Song, was willing for her lover to remove any impediment and plant any substance he desired to see growing in the garden of her heart. In these days of great deception, it is important for us to call for the same. We must open our hearts to Him and give Him absolute control. He has hedged us about in order to open the fountain of living water blessing within the very depth of His true people. He wants fragrances of His choosing, plantings of His choice. His inspection must reward Him with pleasure. The garden of our hearts is to be a show place for those He invites to observe and seek to emulate. He must prune away excesses and leave only what will bless!
Hedged About with Mercy:
          In the opening Scripture one finds, "He who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him." Is this not a promise most appreciated? In light of my friend's methodologies--being surrounded by mercy is a protection most impenetrable. What can be introduced that would take away this hedge of mercy? The moment it arrives---Mercy blocks it. Mercy is the judgment of final resort. No argument can be made so great that mercy cannot field it. The ultimate sentence from the Ultimate Judge has declared MERCY and it shall not be reversed!

          They sang of His mercy in early Israel, "The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever." It is the song of any soul set free from the awesome tasks of monitoring life by one's self. To be surrounded on all sides with His mercy is enough protection. David knew this in the 23rd Psalm, "goodness and mercy follow me."
Paul put it another way,
Rom 8:37-39
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul lived the impenetrable life. His spiritual wall gave him solace against a world of hurt. Even the thorn in his flesh was trumped by his sphere of authority and placed in his realm of discipline. So strong was the wall around his life that he could view his past through it and describe it in the Romans 8 passage.

Those who run to Psalms 91 find within its gates the wondrous wall of His secret place.
Ps 91:9-16
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

'Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.'
This passage is like the wall of fire that goes before and aft for the believer in Jesus. Nothing will succeed against that which God has separated to Himself. "No weapon formed against him will prosper," is Isaiah's comment.

More than comment: It is the principle premise for living. Without the hedge, there is chaos. Isaiah, the great comforter of the saints, becomes the realist in judgment. He prophesied that the hedge would be removed and Judah will suffer the consequence of being "open to the aggressors."
Isaiah 5:5-8
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it waste;
It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it."

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
Sadly, any nation where God removes the hedge-the hell that found Job is unleashed in a moment. Every demon knows and scurries toward that country whose hedge is removed. (Start the countdown to the end of September, when the cataclysmic events begin…with irretrievable consequences.)

Job's indictment by satan served to show that God can and does hedge about His loved ones.
Job 1:10-11
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. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!
Faithful Job did not curse Him. Satan's prophecy failed. He acted toward God as though the hedge remained. Suspended for a season, its force returned and the blessings of Job were greater than his losses. As believers, we must allow the Lord to build the hedge in our lives and keep the soil inside clean and workable.. One man bore for us the horrible experiences of a hedge less human when God "forsook" Him. Triumphing over this ordeal, He rose up into God's inheritance for Him and He is the one who builds the enclosure around His Bride!

David's treatise is a masterpiece of prose about the great power of the Lord to place around us His loving mercy, grace and hedge of blessings.
Ps 139:5-16
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me
If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,'
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
Yes, Paul knew that it was and still is the will of God for all His children to tend the vineyard of their heart for He has hedged them about with His mercy.
Rom 9:23-24
That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Jesus taught His Disciples and us to possess our souls with patience---knowing we are hedged about.
Luke 21:10-19
Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.
Be edified, comforted and filled with joy, for we are hedged about with His mercy!

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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In German:

Die Sohn Zadoks

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