During the time God led the Israelites to the promised land of Canaan, what He most worried about them was that they would forget their Lord and serve other gods when they entered the land and were abundant in many things.
In Deuteronomy 11, God explained to the Israelites how good the land of Canaan was. Canaan was the land God was always caring for, flowing with milk and honey and drinking rain from heaven. The Lord added that He would send rain on their land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that they may gather in their all crops if they obeyed His word and served Him with love.
However, God also warned them to be careful, because if they were enticed to turn away from the Lord and worship other gods and bow down to them, God’s anger would burn against them. He would shut the heavens so that it would not rain, and the ground would yield no produce, and they would soon perish from the promised land. The Lord was worried that they would not rely on their Lord and turn their eyes to and depend on others if they lived well and were no longer lacking materially.
His concern became a reality.
The Israelites finally entered and settled in Canaan. However, they did not drive out all the Canaanites, whom the Lord commanded them to drive out because they had worshiped idols from early on. They instead began to accept Canaanite culture. In Judges 2, it was recorded that the Israelites forsook God and served Baal and Ashtaroth before God, according to the culture of the local people. God was furious at them, so He made the plunderers take away what they had worked for. He also left the enemies of the Israelites around them.
It caused them to suffer severely. Nevertheless, idolatry had not ceased in the history of Israel. Even Solomon, the son of David and the king of wisdom, married many gentile women and was enticed to serve many idols according to their cultures. The Lord appeared to him twice and warned him about it, but Solomon continued to serve other gods, not obeying His word.
God finally said that He would take Israel from the sons of Solomon and give it to Solomon’s servant. It became true at last. When Rehoboam, son of Solomon, became king, Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who was a servant of Solomon, became the king of ten tribes of Israel except for Judah and Benjamin. Israel was divided into northern Israel and southern Judah, as God said. Even since then, all kings except a few had repeated the sins of serving idols.
In 2 Chronicles 24:20, God said through the prophet Zechariah that He had forsaken them because they had forsaken their Lord. Northern Israel was eventually devastated by the Assyrians, and southern Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians. The word that God warned in Deuteronomy 11:16–17 was applied to them as it was.
We must remember the word because it also applies in the same way to us living at present.
We do not know when the idol of a big or small greed will arise in our hearts as we are not satisfied with what we have and pursue mammonism and become more dependent on materials.