Why did the people of Israel turn from God to other gods? The OT gives the actions, the NT gives the motive. We find the motive in James esp. chapter 1 and Romans 1. They went after their lusts.
Exodus 23.24,32-3 (. . . for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.;.
Deut. 4.15-19, 23-29. Warning against corrupting themselves by making a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, etc. * * * to lift up their eyes to worship and serve the sun, the moon, the stars, even all the host of heaven.
Deut. 6.14-15, 7.3-4, 25-26; “[I]f thou . . . walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face . . . .” Deut. 8.19-20. Deut. 11.16-17.
Deut. 10.16-17; 27-28 (God lays before them a blessing & a curse-a curse if they go after other gods.)
“Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree; And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.” Deut. 12.2-3 (Conditions of blessing in the land.).
“[B]e not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods: even so shall I do likewise. . . . Deut. 12.30-32, 13.1-18.
Deut. 17. 2-7 (idolaters to be stoned). Deut. 18.9-14 (idolatrous practices forbidden). Deut. 20.18.
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them; but cleave unto the LORD your God . . . .” Joshua 23.6-8.
Josh. 24.20-28 [In v. 21 the people say they will serve the LORD. How long? See Judges 2.1-23.]
To Solomon: 1 Ki. 6.12-13; 9.1-9; 2 Chr. 7.12-22 (Notice the promises for keeping God’s statutes & commandments & the consequences for not doing so. Notice esp. that God is concerned that the nation shall not go & serve other gods, worship them). “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7.14. See also, Deut. 4.29-31.
“The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. . . . Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. . . . For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jer. 2.8, 11, 13.
N1 p 19: Gen. 11 & 12 mark an important turning point in the divine dealing. Heretofore, the history has been that of the whole Adamic race. . . . [Purposes for which Israel called are given] A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel (scriptures given).
God says to Jeroboam, through the man of God: “* * * [Because thou] hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. * * *.” 1 Ki. 14.9-16.
God says to Baasha (king of Israel who killed all the house of Jeroboam) that because Baasha has walked in the way of Jeroboam, and made God’s people to sin, to provoke God to anger with their sins, he will take away his posterity, and the posterity of his house; and will make his house like that of Jeroboam: “Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the fields shall the fowls eat.” 1 Ki. 16.1-7. Zimre slew all the house of Baasha. 1 Ki. 16.11-13.
“For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” Psm. 96.5. “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.” Psm. 97.7.
“The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.” Psm. 135.15-28.
Isa. 44.6-20 (There is no other God. The folly of idolatry—making & worshiping gods.)
“I am the LORD, and there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. * * *.” Isa. 45.5-25.
Isa. 46: the power of Jehovah & the powerlessness of idols (mad of gold & silver).
“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? * * * ” Jere. 2.11-
“But where are thy gods that hast made thee? let them arise. If they can save thee in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.” Jere. 2.28. (Committing adultery w/stones and with stocks.) Jere. 3.
Jere.7.9-; Jere. 8.2-;