Idolatry is so often associated with external things, like idols. In fact “idolatry” is actually an issue of the heart, it is anything that is set up in our lives that serves to replace adoration and awe to whom true worship is to be given (the LORD). In the end, idols made of wood, precious metals, jewels, etc. are only one way to express what has actually taken place in our hearts previously — in fact my guess (speaking from experience) is that the ‘best kind of idol worship’ happens consistently in the “hidden recesses of our hearts” — of course that kind of ‘idol’ worship is not done in a vacuum either (its natural consequence is evidenced in the works of the flesh cf. Gal. 5:17ff). Anyway, I was prompted to think this way because of this:
1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. 2 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
7 ” ‘When any Israelite or any alien living in Israel separates himself from me and sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet to inquire of me, I the LORD will answer him myself. 8 I will set my face against that man and make him an example and a byword. I will cut him off from my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.