More than any other part of His creation, God created humankind to behold, enjoy, and display His glory. The fall, however, broke us entirely. We still long to worship, but rather than worship God, we bow down to anything and everything else. This was happening in Israel.
Out of all the nations of the world, God had revealed Himself in special ways to these people whom He had formed into a special nation. He had given them His law, His covenants. He had shown them His character and placed His name upon them. Yet with all of this, Israel was still seeking to bow her knees before false gods. Every human heart was made to worship, and the sinful tendencies of our hearts will always cause us to drift away from worshiping God to worshiping created things.
In His great love, God will not allow His people to continue in unfaithfulness. He will show His people the idols that they worship and how they fail. Hosea came to prophesy to Israel that her idols would always fall short and only God could save and satisfy them. God will do the same in our hearts. He will do all that is necessary—trials, suffering, failure—to expose what we are worshiping other than Him. And in His love, He will bring us back, helping us see that no idol can substitute for His grace and goodness. Only Jesus—God in the flesh—can save and satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
When was a time that God revealed to you that you were hoping in something (e.g., people’s approval, money, food) other than Him to save and satisfy you?