“Among my people are wicked men who lie in wait for victims like a hunter hiding in a blind. They continually set traps to catch people. Like a cage filled with birds, their homes are filled with evil plots. And now they are great and rich. They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?” Jeremiah 5:26-29
They lie in wait as one who sets snares; they set a trap; they catch men: In using the picture of a bird-catcher, it is possible that Jeremiah had in mind those who steal men unto slavery. It is more likely that he had in mind those who use their positions of power and influence to become great and grow rich, at the expense of the weak and needy. Instead of taking advantage of the weak and needy, these wicked men should have used their positions of power and influence to do good for them. Their prosperity was not from the blessing of God. It was the result of their own sinful ambition and enterprise – and therefore invited the judgment of God.
They became the slaves of sin. These people felt that they were free, free to do whatever they wanted. We are never free until we give our lives to Jesus Christ and allow God control of our lives. “Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.” (Romans 6:18-19) “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:14) “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:36) To be free in Jesus Christ is the most wonderful freedom that you can have. I know; I was once a slave to sin, but now I am free.