“Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—all are alike in this. To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!” Jeremiah 2:26-27
Judah’s pursuit of false gods caused her to be disgraced. Though she was ascribing her very existence to idols of wood and stone, yet when trouble came she had the audacity to ask God to come and save her. Her false gods were impotent, yet Judah had as many gods as she had towns showing the multiplication of her idolatry. When people make their own god, they make it as they want it. They make a god whose demands they can meet. In other words, it is actually a projection of the old nature of man.
A thief caught in the act may protest his or her innocence, but the evidence is there for all to see. Any visitor to the kingdom of Judah could see what God saw: people turning their backs on God and talking to deaf idols, but then turning desperately to Jehovah for help when they found themselves in trouble. They were caught red-handed! We are the same way; as long as things are going well, we don’t need God. Our idols are not made of wood and stone, but they are idols just the same. Anything that we put in the place of God is an idol. Anything that we put our trust in except God is an idol.