36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
When God brought the people of Israel to the Promised Land, they were specifically warned: “Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:11-14).
However, God’s Word says, “they served their idols”. Oh, what an incriminating verdict! Serving the idols of the inhabitants of the land had led them into many other abominable deeds connected to idol worship. Eating food offered to idols, building altars unto idols, sorcery, witchcraft, soothsaying, child sacrifices and all kinds of despicable carnal behaviour had been adopted by most Israelites. By their unashamed involvement in idolatrous practices, the people of Israel relentlessly provoked the LORD.
Their adulterated religion was an insult to the Most Holy God. He was dishonoured by their shameful hypocrisy. The LORD, the only living and true God, was reduced to the ranks of idols, which they had turned to worship. They had forgotten and despised all the blessings that the LORD promised in His covenant with them. He had been faithful to them and given them the land that He promised them. However, they callously walked away from Him to serve the idols of the heathen people!
To seek truth, blessing and protection in idolatry was a foolish journey into endless snares to their souls. The idolatry they sought after was “a snare unto them”. It was like the snare by which birds and animals were trapped. They did not perceive the danger of idolatry, simply because they ignored the warnings of God against worshipping idols.
Today, churches and Christians at large are much like the ancient Israel that went a whoring after the idols. Their chief idolatry is worldliness. Though the Scriptures warn Christians to “Love not the world” (1 John 2:15; cf. James 4:4), many unabashedly pursue materialism and the unchaste life of the unbelievers. O Christians, avoid the dangers of worldliness by fleeing from it. Separate from the world and adhere to your LORD.