on Hosea 2 :6
I will hedge up thy way with thorns - I will put it out of your power to escape the judgments I have threatened; and, in spite of all your attachment to your idols, you shall find that they can give you neither bread, nor water, nor wool, nor flax, nor oil, nor drink. And ye shall be brought into such circumstances, that the pursuit of your expensive idolatry shall be impossible. And she shall be led so deep into captivity, as never to find the road back to her own land. And this is the fact; for those who were carried away into Assyria have been lost among the nations, few of them having ever returned to Judea. And, if in being, where they are now is utterly unknown.
on Hosea 2 :6
Therefore - that is, because she said, "I will go after my lovers," "behold I will hedge up thy ways;" literally, "behold, I hedging." It expresses an immediate future, or something which, as being fixed in the mind of God, is as certain as if it were actually taking place. So swift and certain should be her judgments.
Thy way - God had before spoken of Israel; now He turns to her, pronouncing judgment upon her; then again He turneth away from her, as not deigning to regard her. "If the sinner's way were plain, and the soul still had temporal prosperity, after it had turned away from its Creator, scarcely or never could it be recalled, nor would it "hear the voice behind it," warning it. But when adversity befalls it, and tribulation or temporal difficulties overtake it in its course, then it remembers the Lord its God." So it was with Israel in Egypt. When "they sat by the flesh pots, and did eat bread to the full, amid the fish, which they did eat freely, the cucumbers and the melons," they forgat the God of their fathers, and served the idols of Egypt. Then He raised up "a new king, who made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick and in all the service of the field;" then "they groaned by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of their bondage, and God heard their groaning" Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:5; Exodus 1:8, Exodus 1:14; Exodus 2:23, Exodus 2:4.
So in the book of Judges the ever-recurring history is, they forsook God; He delivered them into the hands of their enemies; they cried unto Him; He sent them a deliverer. A way may be found through a "hedge of thorns," although with pain and suffering; through a stone "wall" even a strong man cannot burst a way. "Thorns" then may be the pains to the flesh, with which God visits sinful pleasures, so that the soul, if it would break through to them, is held back and torn; the wall may mean, that all such sinful joys shall be cut off altogether, as by bereavement, poverty, sickness, failure of plans, etc. In sorrows, we cannot find our idols, which, although so near, vanish from us; but we may find our God, though we are so far from Him, and He so often seems so far from us. "God hedgeth with thorns the ways of the elect, when they find prickles in the things of time, which they desire. They attain not the pleasures of this world which they crave." They cannot "find their paths," when, in the special love of God, they are hindered from obtaining what they seek amiss. "I escaped not Thy scourges," says Augustine, as to his pagan state, "for what mortal can? For Thou wert ever with me, mercifully rigorous, and with most bitter alloy all my unlawful pleasures, that I might seek pleasure without alloy. But where to find such, I could not discover, save in Thee, O Lord, who teachest by sorrow, and woundest us, to heal, and killest us, lest we die from Thee" (Conf. ii. 4).
on Hosea 2 :6