The people of Jerusalem were looking for deliverance by the alliances with the various nations around them. But Jeremiah made it certain that they would be disappointed. In Jeremiah 2:37 we read, “From it too you will come away with your hands on your head, for the 27 slavesLORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them.” It appears that the very nations that Israel thought would deliver them would end up making them slaves again. That’s exactly what happened as Huey says, “Its dependence on other nations rather than on God was leading to national destruction. After its defeat many of the people would be led away as captives with their hands on their heads.  Nations today still depend on alliances with other nations for their security instead of looking to God. Individuals try one religion after another but will be disappointed, for they can offer no help. Only the Lord can provide the security and peace that all people seek.”[1] Israel looked to others to give them their freedom when that’s only achieved through a relationship with the God who made us.

The interesting thing about this verse is that the people or things we might look to for protection, security and even satisfaction in life apart from God almost always end up enslaving us rather than setting us free. Boice puts it this way, “Remember that, the next time someone suggests that you have to sin to be free. Merely attaching the word freedom to sin does not make sin a way of liberation. The truth is that sin is bondage. It enslaves us so that we are unable to escape its grasp later, even if we want to. If you give way to sensual passions, you will become a slave to those passions. If you give way to greed, you will become a slave to greed. So also for every other vice and wrongdoing.”[2]

This is one of the reasons that God hates sin. “God hates sin because it enslaves us and will eventually destroy us. Just as Samson’s sin led to his physical blindness and captivity, our sin will lead to spiritual blindness and bondage. God is the source of life, and He will extend that life eternally to all who believe. Sin is a barrier to our reception of life, and that is one reason why God hates it.”[3] Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life and to give us the ultimate truth that sets us free. That truth is the love that God has for all of us as demonstrated on the cross of Calvary. He truly sets us free by His love and grace and that’s why Paul tells us in Romans 6:14, “Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

[1] F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations, vol. 16, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 69.

[2] James Montgomery Boice, Romans: The Reign of Grace, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991–), 692.

[3] Got Questions Ministries, Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010).