The history of the Bible is, in one way, a separating out of people who will follow God in the paths He determines to be righteous. It seems to be a continuation, revealing the consequences, dependent on people’s willingness to follow or of their unwillingness. Obedience resulting in advantages; disobedience resulting in drawbacks. The worst way those who are drawn out to demonstrate the ways of God’s righteousness is the worship of created things, that is specifically, idols, rather than reverence for the Creator. Even after God demonstrated wonderful blessings and powerful deliverance from their enemies, they always seemed to fall back to making figures of stone, wood, or metal, declaring them to be gods, and attributing to them their salvation — their blessings and deliverances.
Once, in a casual conversation, I admitted that I wasn’t completely clear on what would be considered idolatry today. Of course, there is idol worship in many religions created by mankind, but “isn’t there a broader understanding of it?” I wondered? She said, “Anything we place before God is idolatry.” Truth.
Sometimes I am slow to understand even this obvious concept. Yes, anything put first in our lives ahead of God is idolatry. After all,the first and greatest commandment in both Old and New Testaments recorded in the Bible is this: Matthew 22:36–40 — “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Unfortunately, the second is emphasized far more than the first. The first commandment is first for a reason, one of which is so God can empower you with the ability to love your neighbor and also how to love your neighbor. The two are like the hinges on a door.
This summary I found on the internet and it sounds good to me:
“When a lawyer and expert of the law asked Jesus what the most important commandment is, Jesus responded, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.”
“All of Christianity comes down to how we love God and how everything we do — relationships, work, entertainment, education, displays our love for God. No success, status, or possession will matter at the end of our days. How we loved God and loved others will be our victory.” (https://www.biblestudytools.com/)
We usually live our lives without searching for God or acknowledging Him in any way as we live out our lives. All the things we put before seeking to hear from God and for gratitude for all of Creation, all the things we do and say outside of seeking a personal relationship with Him is idolatry, and by practicing this “idolatry” we miss out on all the benefits and deliverances He has for us, the greatest of which is having Him interacting with us. To know Him is to love Him.
Jesus promised in Luke 11:9 — “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So, don’t you think it just might be important to read the Bible.
Ask. Seek. Knock.