But you, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands on you, and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out among them:
I. THEY ARE OFTEN EXPERIENCED. Every true life for Christ, at one step or another, verifies the expression of Paul, "Without are fightings, within are fears."
1. The restraints may be in the servants. They may be ready to spread the Gospel, but are forbidden to enter the door which is apparently opened, or are afflicted with disease and unable to enter, or are prostrated in their energies by some domestic event and unfit to enter.
2. The restraints may be from those for whom the service is required.
(1) They may become violent against the persons who stand up for the rights of God.
(2) Or the people may be rebellious in heart.
II. THE RESTRAINTS ARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE LORD. He concerns Himself with every matter relating to His kingdom amongst men. The enforced silence and disablement of the prophet and the "gross" heart of the people are controlled for His righteous and good ends.
1. Traces of His working are perceptible. Restraints are felt teaching His suffering servants to be patient, vigilant for Him, and so qualifing for future action and future reward. "If we suffer with Him we are glorified together."
2. Hopes of His working may be entertained. When men make void His law, that is a time to ask God to do special work.
III. RESTRAINTS MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH COMMUNION BETWEEN THE LORD AND HIS SERVANTS. This fact is brought to pass —
1. By a fresh consciousness of God in His service. He seems to come nearer to them, and they say, "Thou holdest me by my right hand."
2. By a deepened conviction that He who has led them is the same forever.
3. By the power of the Holy Spirit. He takes the things that are Christ's and shows them to us. He teaches to profit, and we receive power, love, and a sound mind. The efficacy of all true ministry depends on His energy.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: