They ask a piece of wood for advice! They think a stick can tell them the future! Longing after idols has made them foolish. (Hosea 4:12a)
We don’t like to think of the idols we revere. We tend to rationalize the relationship we have with our idols. And sometimes, our idols aren’t even capable of a relationship because they are inanimate. But idols aren’t just a stick of wood or clay or any other material. Worshipping such objects can reveal idolatry, but we more readily create idols out of our jobs, bank accounts, family roles, or community status. We can even build idols within our faith when we misappropriate the perspective of priorities and power.
Idolatry distracts and deceives us, and that can happen within our faith. Or we can separate our faith from other aspects of our lives so that we don’t connect our idolatry’s influence and it erodes and distorts our faith. And that’s the connected to foolishness. Anytime we let what we believe to be outside our faith (or even justified by our faith) begin to eclipse our faith, we are unwise. It happens more often than we care to consider, but there is a remedy: At any time, we can increasingly focus on God, become familiar with his character and will, and be humble enough to let him change us.
Idolatry is never worth the cost of foolish faith.