God speaks to Judah through the prophet Jeremiah: “Thus saith YHWH, what iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” (Jeremish 2:5). Judah cannot escape God’s pronouncements because he is their judge and king, their “Blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting” (1Timothy 6:15,16). Judah had for centuries rebelled against God, even though he was always faithful.
Judah has been degrading herself before the Gentiles, but now worse, because no nation had changed its god, “But you have changed your God,” he charges. Their sin is multiplied when they made many alliances with other nations to help them win battles against their enemies; but such alliances hindered God’s providence since He was their Potentate, and he alone guarded his children. They were like water wells, he said: “They have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (2:15). God reminded them that seeking humans for strength always brought them disaster, for “It is not in man to direct his own steps” (10:23). “Is Israel a servant?” God asks them. “Is he a homeborn slave? why is he become a spoil to his enemy? The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head and feed on thy crown”(2:13-16).
But you did it to yourselves and what can God do except turn you over to the heathen nations as slaves, “Hast thou forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?” You have now gone to Egypt to drink of her waters (2:18). But God says, your backsliding alliances will pay the price for your errors, and “shall correct thee and reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God” (2:19).
All heaven is astonished and looks away from your sins that are so horrible and severe. They are on edge, shudder with their hair standing on end to learn you turned away from the one true God to serve not only other gods, but “you make human alliances without me! All you need is to trust me.” God lists a few events where He led them without one human alliance coming to their aid. They had forgotten these victiries; but now, “heaven is called upon to shrivel-up,” God says.
Obviously, alliances with human nations can only mean we have deserted our God. Throughout the centuries, history records people who once served God but left Him for human resources only to find empty reservoirs. An excellent example is the USA, who from its origins relied on God’s grace to allow the country to exist; but since WWII, its leaders have led their people away from God, and the is without one victory. The signs of our times, like Judah and Israel, paint the images of trust in human alliances without our one true God. What folly is the hard and long labor to hew out cisterns, only to learn its cracks and fissures leave it waterless. Paul saw a desiccated Athens when he observed the objects of their devotions, which were “waterless” cisterns. We are correct to learn lessons from the past, therein to search and stand in the ways of the fresh water that only our Lord gives (2:13; John 7:38). In all things let us hold firmly to our Lord and Savior (Colossians 3:17).