He has hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he has made my chain heavy.…
The man who enjoys prosperity seems also to enjoy liberty; his way lies straight and level and open before him. But it often happens in human life that liberty is changed into restraint, that every path that is smooth and peaceful is closed, that, in the figurative language of this passage, a hedge is planted, a fence is staked out, a wall is built across the traveller's way.
I. MAN'S DELIGHT IS NATURALLY IN LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY.
II. PROVIDENTIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SOMETIMES COMPLETELY DEPRIVE HIM OF SUCH LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY.
1. One may miss the object of his heart's earthly desire. He may have set his affection upon some object, he may have directed his aspiration towards some aim, he may have purposed some course in life; and all these expectations and hopes may come to nothing; circumstances may conspire against the fulfilment of such desires and intentions.
2. Another may find great delight in the service of God; and suddenly health may fail and such service may Consequently be forbidden, or powers of mind may be enfeebled, or means may be reduced, or fellow labourers, apparently necessary, may be removed by death.
III. THERE IS DANGER LEST IN SUCH A POSITION EVEN GOOD PEOPLE SHOULD BECOME IMPATIENT AND REBELLIOUS. Believing that the Almighty has power to remove every obstacle, and to make plain the roughest path, they are tempted to question the interest, the care, the benevolence of the Supreme, and to give way to fretfulness and murmuring, and to ask "Why should not God make light my heavy chain, pluck up the cruel hedge, break down the impenetrable wall?"
IV. YET IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE PATH WHICH GOD HAS APPOINTED SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS THE RIGHT PATH. Resignation to his will, waiting for his time of deliverance, confidence in his goodness, - such is the attitude of heart in which true consolation and ultimate prosperity will be found. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.