2 For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
There was a particular problem in Israel, where her leaders departed from the faith. We see this issue beginning with verse 2.
For the idols [household gods] speak delusion;
“Idols” refers to teraphim or household gods (Ge 31:19; Judges 17:5; 18:5). Apostasy is an internal threat to the nation. Rulers who imbibe in idolatry will undermine the integrity of Israel. Worship of idols stands in contrast to depending on the Lord for rain (“ask the LORD”).
The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams;
Diviners consulted their household gods to obtain rain. They hoped to prophesy coming rain or prosperity. Divination is false prophecy, fortune-telling. False teachers did not represent truth from God.
They comfort in vain.
The comfort of false teachers was like vapor. There is no comfort in believing a lie.
Therefore [consequence] the people wend their way like sheep;
There are two results from the deception of apostate leaders. First, the people of Israel wandered from the truth like sheep wandering in open fields (Ezek 34:6-10). Israel and Judah went into captivity because of the lies of their religious leaders.
The words “wend their way” convey the idea of pulling up stakes. Israel left their LORD; they uprooted and left their trust in God. They went on a journey into apostasy. It was a deliberate or willful departure from the LORD.
They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
The second effect of moving into deception is severe discipline from God. The people of Israel were in trouble because they lacked shepherding leadership who told the truth about the LORD. Sheep without a shepherd are vulnerable to animals who seek prey. They should have followed the Shepherd, who would protect them from falsity.
God warns His people about demonic deception.
Christians today live in a world of demonic deception, and few Christian leaders recognize it. The world system appears so innocent to them, whereas it is an elaborate system to deceive Christians and move them away from their faith (1 Jn 4:1).