You are wearied in the greatness of your way; yet said you not, There is no hope: you have found the life of your hand…
Cheyne thinks the first reference of this verse is to the ceaseless quest of the nation, in this its troublous time, for help and protection, including, of course, embassies to foreign kings, and also every other specimen of untheocratic policy. "Nothing could convince these idolatrous Jews of the folly of their misplaced trust and vain confidence." Barnes given the following suggestive note on the general application of the passage: "This is a striking illustration of the conduct of men in seeking happiness away from God. They wander from object to object; they become weary in the pursuit, yet they do not abandon it; they still cling to hope though often repulsed, and though the world gives them no permanent comfort, though wealth, ambition, gaiety, and vice all fail in imparting the happiness which they sought, yet they do not give it up in despair. They still feel that it is to be found in some other way than by the disagreeable necessity of returning to God, and they wander from object to object, and from land to land, and become exhausted in the pursuit, and still are not ready to say, ' There is no hope; we give it up in despair, and we will now seek happiness in God.'" Matthew Henry keenly, if somewhat quaintly, says, "Prosperity in sin is a great bar to conversion from sin." Henderson puts in a good sentence the immediate and local association of the verse: "The idolatrous Jews wearied themselves with their unhallowed practices; but finding that they had not entirely exhausted their strength, they would not give up their pursuits as hopeless, but rather emboldened themselves in wickedness."
I. IT IS A FACT - SINFUL WAYS DO WEARY US. Illustrate the pursuit of pleasure by means of self-indulgence. Or the "quest of the chief good" on purely human lines (illustrate this from the Book of Ecclesiastes). Or the mastery of evil by effort of serf-will. Or the effort to get eternal life by our own doings and strivings. In every case we are soon left wearied out and sick at heart.
II. THIS FACT MEN ARE SLOW TO RECOGNIZE. They will not say, "There is no hope." By all kinds of delusions men persuade themselves to try once again. The last thing men will give up is hope in themselves and their own self-schemes.
III. MAN'S CHANCE COMES ONLY WHEN HE IS HUMBLE ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE THIS FACT. He must he willing to say, "Myself I cannot save." Then, turning to God, he will say, "Thou canst save, and thou alone." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.