The Way Hedged Up
Hosea 2:6
Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.…

A way may be hedged or walled up on either side for security and protection. But when the hedge is planted, or the wall built right across the path, such a barrier is of course intended to impede progress, and to render proceeding in that direction impossible.

I. DIVINE PROVIDENCE SOMETIMES HEDGES UP THE SINNER'S PATH. It does sometimes seem as if the ungodly were left to go their way unchecked; as if there were nothing to restrain their headlong race upon the downward path; as if sentence against an evil work were not executed speedily. But how often is it observed that Providence does interpose to restrain the mad career of iniquity and folly! To change the figure, it is as though the voice addressed the aging sea, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed."

II. VERY VARIOUS ARE THE HEDGES AND WALLS ENCOUNTERED IN THE WAY OF SIN. Sometimes sickness and infirmity render the sinner incapable of pursuing his evil ways; sometimes temptation is signally removed from his path; sometimes disappointment and sorrow produce revulsion and even disgust; sometimes conscience is awakened, and sternly forbids indulgence in the pleasures of sin.

III. SUCH HEDGES AND WALLS AROUSE A HASTY AND VEHEMENT RESENTMENT. The bird strikes her wings against the iron bars of the cage in which she is confined; the ox kicks against the goad by which the driver urges him. And the first impulse of the sinner who encounters a hedge upon his sinful path, is to resent, to resist, to displace it. This is human nature; and only calm reflection and Divine grace can effect that it shall be otherwise.

IV. NEVERTHELESS, THE INTENTIONS OF DIVINE MERCY MAY IN TIME BE RECOGNIZED. The disappointed adulteress, finding that her unlawful lovers are indifferent to her, and have forsaken her, comes to a better mind, and compares with their treatment of her the conduct of her just and rightful spouse. The sinner, learning by bitter experience that the way of transgressors is hard, comes to see that this is a provision of heavenly tore and pity; acknowledges that it was not intended that the pursuits of worldliness and selfishness should satisfy man's immortal soul; and thus is led to seek forgiveness and reconciliation from a justly offended God.

V. THE HEDGING UP OF THE WAY THUS APPEARS TO THE PENITENT SINNER S BLESSING 1N DISGUISE. He says within himself, "Had the road been open, and my course unimpeded, perhaps I should never have paused until I had rushed into ruin and destruction. How does it become me to adore and to bless the very mercy which I hated and despised, to which I owe it that my mad career was checked, and that my wandering feet have at last been led into the way of peace!" - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

WEB: Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, that she can't find her way.

The Warning Lesson of Israel's Apostacy
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