(Originally published in devotionals at Northside Baptist Church, 2/2007)
Every night before going to bed, my dad would come in, tell us a self-concocted story, tuck us in for the night and say a prayer. At the end of each prayer he would ask for God to “put a hedge of protection around us.” As he said that line I envisioned an imaginary hedge of shrubs encircling our home. I questioned the ability of shrubs to keep out someone intent on entering our home, but it wasn’t the structure itself that was important, it was the Person to whom the request was made.
My imagination could be particularly vivid – especially in the evening hours. Every noise in the house and every wind that blew outside was a potential criminal intent on harming me and my family. The longer I thought about it the worse each noise became. This verse makes a contrast between fearing what man can do over what the Lord provides. Fearing man leaves little room for trusting in the power of God.
That “hedge of protection” my father requested each night didn’t seem adequate when I was focusing on the ability of man to be sneaky and intrusive. When my attention shifted to focusing on trusting the Lord to keep me safe, then the hedge seemed beyond sufficient.