Since the very beginning, God has destined mankind to be keepers or guardians of the land. According to Genesis 2:15, God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew root word for garden is to hedge about, to protect and to defend. And Eden means "the region of Adam's home", or his region, his land. So "Garden of Eden" literally means to protect, to defend and build a hedge around your region. Adam's failure in keeping God's charge to him resulted in disastrous effects for all mankind. I have to ask myself, am I putting a hedge around my family, my church, my region where God has placed me? Am I doing the best I can to protect and defend my region, the land God assigned to me?
In real-estate law, when you own land, you own all that is growing on the surface and/or attached to the land (surface rights), what is beneath the surface (mineral rights), and also the airspace above the surface (air rights). Are we, the church, using all that God has given us, equipped us with, to put a hedge around our region, to protect and defend everything on the land, below the land and everything above the land from the "prince of the air" (Eph. 2:2) and his cohorts?
According to Strong's Concordance, "hedge" means to shut in, formation, protection, fence, to make a hedge or wall. Based upon the meaning of garden that we read above, we are to make a hedge or wall of protection around the region where God has placed us. A hedge must be a powerful tool against our enemy because in Job 1:10, Satan accuses God of placing a hedge around Job, his household and all that he had on every side (an all-encompassing wall of protection) so that Satan could not lay a hand on him or any of his possessions.
In Isaiah 5:5, when the hedge is taken away (or broken down; or never put up in the first place) the vineyard will be eaten up and trodden down. With all the godlessness, immorality, wickedness, murders and suicides, I have to ask myself; doesn't that describe my region, my country?
God scolds the foolish prophets for not building up the wall (hedge in KJV) in Ezekiel 13:5. If we took the time to ask God, would we today hear this same word of chastisement? Is not the Lord looking for us to build up the hedge (make a spiritual wall of protection) around our region as He did in Ezekiel 22:30.
Using Genesis 2:15 as an example, he has placed us in our region to tend and keep the land. In the Hebrew, "tend" means to till, to keep, to dress, to serve and to work the land. So, we are to not only till and work the land, but to serve the land and all that is in it. Spiritually speaking, it appears that one way we can serve our land or region is to protect and defend it from principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
Again, Genesis 2:15 also says we are to "keep" the land; the word "keep" in the Hebrew means to hedge about, to guard, to protect, to attend to, take heed, to keep, to observe and to watch. In the Complete Word Study Dictionary, it states to "keep" is "a verb meaning to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one's guard." "The verb means "to watch, to guard and to care for." "The word can suggest the idea of protecting." This is what our captain of heavenly hosts expects us to be doing right here, right now, in the region He has assigned us to.
That word, to guard or to be a guardian, really speaks about our assignment, our mission. To "guard" in Strong's means custody, a guard, the post, ward, to watch. A "guardian," per the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary, is someone who protects something or a person who has legal right and responsibility for taking care of someone. Hasn't Jesus given us the legal right and responsibility to rule and reign on the earth?
As we saw above, one of the meanings for "keep" is "to watch"; to be a watchman. Strong's states "watchman" means to lean forward, to peer into the distance, observe, to keep the watch. Wordwealth reflects the meaning as: "To look out, peer into the distance, spy, keep watch; to scoop something out, especially in order to see approaching danger, and to warn those who are endangered." Often, it is translated "watchmen", referring to the king's guards (I Sam 14:16) or to those who look out from a tower on the city wall (2 Kings 9:17). In other instances, it is spiritual watchmen, or prophets, who look out, see danger and report to the people (see Isa. 52:8; Jer. 6:17; Ezek. 33:2-7).
God sets a guardian or a watchman to declare what he sees (Isa. 21:6). So, combining this with what we have seen in Genesis 2:15, we can surmise He has called us to be watchmen on the wall, declaring what He reveals to us. Our captain has made us watchmen of this region to hear the word of His mouth and to give the people warning from Him (Ezek. 3:17).
God's plan for the land is to have watchmen of prayer and intercession set on our walls. Watchmen who will never hold our peace day or night; we who are His servants and by our prayers, put the Lord in remembrance of His promises, keep not silent and give Him no rest until He establishes that which He has assigned us to pray for; our family, our church, our city, our region, our country, our world (paraphrased from Isa. 62:6-7, AMP)
We have been given spiritual weapons of warfare (2 Cor. 10:3-4). So let us commit in 2018 to be keepers, guardians and watchmen on the wall, taking a firm stand against our enemy, praying a hedge of protection around our region. What we tolerate, will dominate; therefore, let us stand up and shout "enough is enough", put on our armor, grab our Sword, and run to the roar!
Brad Tuttle is a mortgage broker who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife, Juneal. He leads the Spiritual Warfare Attack Team (SWAT), a group of men from various churches and vocations. They intercede weekly, sometimes traveling by van (the SWATmobile) to places of great need. A partner ministry, NOCO Revivalists, provides intercessory prayer support to pastors and churches in northern Colorado. Brad provides leadership to both. Brad and Juneal attend Vintage City Church in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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