I shall also spread My net over him (the prince among God’s people), and he will be caught in My snare (cf. Ez 17:19-21, 19:8-9, 32:2-3, Hosea 7:8-12). And I shall bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there.
Here is a physical picture of the spiritual manner in which those who do not know God and will not walk with Him in covenant and obey the gospel of His salvation (cf. 2 Thess 1:8-9) are ensnared and carried away into spiritual exile. For as King Zedekiah was led away blinded and bound in fetters of bronze by the king of Babylon (Jer 39:7), so are those flesh kings of our own day led away as slaves to the god of this age (Satan, the king of Babylon, cf. Is 14:3-15, Hab 1:15-17), bound up in their sins and spiritually blind so they can’t even see what is happening. For indeed they have been captured alive in the devil’s trap to serve him, deceived that they are in fact serving God. Listen as Paul instructs Timothy concerning them:
Refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:23-26
For the net and snare of the devil in which they are caught is the same lie and deception he has had from the very beginning: that men can sin against God and not surely die (Gen 3:4). Caught in this trap and deceived by this lie that they can walk after the stubbornness of their hearts and not be destroyed, they prostitute themselves with the world in a manner no different from that of an adulteress or a harlot (cf. James 4:4, Rev 17:1-6, Rom 7:1-4). Concerning her the Preacher of Ecclesiastes writes,
And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains (cf. Prov 2:16-19, 5:1-14, 6:23-26, 7:1-27). One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her (cf. Job 18:5-21 below).
For as Paul wrote, Satan has taken them captive to do his will, which is to spread the same net by proclaiming the same lie. Indeed, they are the false prophets of scripture who speak out arrogant words of vanity so as to entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error–promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption (2 Pet 2:18-19). Just like the harlot, these follow after their own lusts and flatter people for the sake of gaining an advantage (Jude 16, cf. Prov 2:16, 5:3, 6:24, 7:5,21). And as the Proverbs remind us,
A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.
Let us then heed the words of our Lord as He warned us about these last days:
See to it that you be not misled (cf. Mat 24:11,24)….Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a snare (or trap); for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.
Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out, and the flame of his fire gives no light. The light in his tent is darkened, and his lamp goes out above him. His vigorous stride is shortened, and his own scheme brings him down. For he is thrown into the net by his own feet, and he steps on the webbing. A snare seizes him by the heel, and a trap snaps shut on him. A noose for him is hidden in the ground, and a trap for him on the path. All around terrors frighten him, and harry him at every step. His strength is famished, and calamity is ready at his side. His skin is devoured by disease, the first-born of death devours his limbs. He is torn from the security of his tent, and they march him before the king of terrors. There dwells in his tent nothing of his; brimstone is scattered on his habitation. His roots are dried below, and his branch is cut off above. Memory of him perishes from the earth, and he has no name abroad. He is driven from light into darkness, and chased from the inhabited world. He has no offspring or posterity among his people, nor any survivor where he sojourned. Those in the west are appalled at his fate, and those in the east are seized with horror. Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him who does not know God.