The great deception in Israel has been idolatry. God finally confronts the problem by reminding His people that He is the one true God of the universe. He loves them and has delivered them and has protected them. He alone has done that and yet they choose to follow the gods of the heathen nations that are made of wood and rock. He asks them to take an inventory of their personal lives. When has this god that you are choosing to serve ever helped you in anyway? When has this god protected you or provided for your needs? When has this god guided you to victory in battle or fought off your enemies for you? Yahweh knows that they have no answers to His questions, because the objects they worship are not gods in any sense; they are no different than a hand-crafted toy or piece of furniture. If God's people would have stopped long enough to give credence to His questions, they might have stayed in the land and enjoyed the blessed benefits of following Yahweh. That, of course, is a big "if," because they did not do that. They chose that which is fake and false over the God who is real and true. They made that conscious choice, and before we judge them, we must admit that we do the same on a consistent basis. When has sin ever made life better? The addict would love to be clean; while the promiscuous person would sacrifice much to be pure. We see sin in all its beauty, but we rarely stop to see its results. Sin always causes death; therefore, we can know that when we give in to sin, we are also opening the door for the death of something in our lives. It could be the death of our integrity; it could be the death of our sanity; or it could be the death of our marriage. Is that really what you want in life? Israel seemed to think so, but they suffered horribly for their sin. We will do the same unless we repent and return to the One who gave everything to save us from that sin.

Help me, Lord, to follow You and not the gods of this world. Help me to enjoy the blessed benefits of walking with You and to help those who are battling addiction and habitual sin to enjoy victory in their lives through You!