Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God has hedged in?
We often read of God loving man, of God punishing man, but not of His hedging him in. And yet the idea is as solemn as it is striking, and as beautiful as it is solemn. Its application depends upon the manner in which we regard it, for the fact may be applied in different ways. Let us consider —
I. WHO IT IS GOD HEDGES IN.
1. Sometimes it is the wicked. When the violent man rages against God and is calculated to injure the cause of righteousness, he is restrained. The voice comes, "Thus far shalt thou go and no further." Pharaoh was hedged in. Even Satan is hedged in.
2. Sometimes it is the righteous. Here we have an instance before us in the case of Job. He had done nothing to merit punishment. So it was with Jeremiah. He was shut up. Good men must be expected to be surrounded by a hedge. Such a position often causes suffering, sorrow, and pain.
II. HOW DOES GOD HEDGE IN? He manifests His power to do so —
1. By providential government. How often do people realise practically the power of these words! They have wished to enter upon a different sphere of labour, to remove from one place to another, or to stay in the place they inhabit. But difficulty after difficulty has arisen, obstacle after obstacle has presented itself, till the person has found that he could not break through the hedge which surrounds him.
2. By affliction, sorrow, and distress.
3. By bodily pain or weakness. The Divine purposes are inscrutable.
III. WHY DOES GOD HEDGE IN?
1. To keep evil men from doing mischief. The unbridled lusts and passions of the wicked are not satisfied with self-satisfaction; they must persecute, injure, and destroy. Almighty God puts a bound to their licence for the benefit of the world.
2. To prevent good men from sin. To save the souls of weak but righteous men; He will keep them from the opportunity of being led astray.
3. To save His servants from danger.
4. To keep them engaged in some particular work.
5. To teach patience and resignation.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?