In my prayers, many times I will ask for a “hedge of protection” around a certain person. This little phrase comes from a passage of Scripture in the book of Daniel. Chapter 4 of Daniel refers to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a tree. Just a little background…King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. He had it ALL. Power, riches, land, and majesty were all his (including articles which he took from the temple of God).
This almighty, powerful King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a tree. Here is the text that describes the tree, “The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds-Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.” (Daniel 4:20-22)
King Nebuchadnezzar is being compared to a large, strong tree. It has beautiful leaves and lots of fruit which gives food, shelter and nesting places for all. What an honor it must have been for King Nebuchadnezzar to be compared to this amazing tree. BUT, the story is not over.
After describing and comparing the tree to King Nebuchadnezzar, a messenger comes down from heaven and says, “Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground.” (Daniel 4:23)
God decided that the tree (King Nebuchadnezzar) needed to be cut down because of his pride and lack of humility to fully surrender and acknowledge that God is the supreme ruler. King Nebuchadnezzar believed that he himself was the supreme ruler so God choose to humble him. But in God’s great love and mercy, He chose to leave the stump and wrap the stump with iron and bronze so that the stump would be protected and shoots could eventually grow again from the stump!
Did you hear that!?!? Despite the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and unwilling to admit that God was supreme, God still loved him. God still gave him grace and mercy. God gave him a second chance. God gave him protection while he figured stuff out. God may have had to cut him down to the stump to get his attention, but He didn’t just leave him there. God put a hedge of protection around the king while the king was “regrouping.”
Do you know someone that is not following Jesus? Are you watching them go through trial after trial? Maybe God is “cutting down their tree” and starting things fresh so that they finally come to Him. God gave us free will and does not force us to love Him. He wants us to love Him. But in the meantime, they need a “hedge of protection of iron and bronze” so that they can re-grow, re-group, and re-prioritize.
Father, we are praying today, specifically for those in our lives that don’t know you. The ones in our lives that we watch go through hard stuff knowing that if they would just surrender to you, their lives could be so much more fulfilling. We ask today, Lord, that a hedge of protection of iron and bronze be put around them. Protect them in the midst of their re-growth, their re-grouping and their re-prioritizing. Put your hand of protection around them so that they can see You for who You really are. Help them to feel Your love and Your embrace. It’s the best place to be and we want them to experience it like we have. Thank you and we love you Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.