God’s people had no influence over their neighbors in spreading the glory of God because their lives were saturated with the same practices and allegiances as their neighbors were. Instead of their hearts and lives being set apart, they were set on the same things as their neighbors. The had mixed the religious rites and practices in with theirs; “their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.” (Isaiah 2:8 ESV)
What is an idol? An idol is not necessarily a statue that we bow to in worship. An idol is anything that we ascribe ultimate allegiance to. It is the thing that we feel like we must have in order for life to work. Often times, idols are good things that we have turned in to God things. Things like children, financial success, athletics, marriage, hard work, friends & relationships. This is not a new problem, the Hebrews wrestled with it and many of us do today. Paul summarizes our propensity for preferring created things over the Creator of all things like this, “they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!” (Romans 1:25 ESV). What are you worshiping as ultimate? Really?