Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.2 Kings 17:41 NIV
This chapter brings down the curtain on the history of Israel, the northern Jewish kingdom. The latter part of this chapter details God’s charges against them and why he gave them up for destruction. And this verse serves as a summary statement.
They went through the motions of worshipping God, but at the same time, they served many idols. God had called them to be his chosen people and to worship and serve him alone. But they failed to obey him and incorporated the worship and practices of the people around them into their own lives. They apparently thought God would be satisfied if they offered the proper sacrifices and performed the proper rituals. But he was not, and it cost them dearly.
We generally do not worship idols today. At least not those that we would identify as gods. But anything that takes away from wholehearted devotion to God is essentially an idol. Today’s idols can include work, family, recreational activities, money, or social causes.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of those things. Unless they are competing with God for your heart. And then God’s charge against Israel in this verse is just as applicable. When we worship God on Sunday mornings and serve our idols the rest of the week, why should we expect God to be satisfied with us? Give yourself fully to him, even in your work and play. Make him Lord of all you are and do.