Why do many of us continually persist in committing sin? Some say that it is due to human weakness. Some say that it is because we want to feed our pride and ego. Many reasons can be put forth, but one reason that seems pertinent or reoccuring is that we want to satisfy a desire, a craving, or a yearning for something which we long for, and yet for one reason or another, we are unable to satisfy it. So when such desires, cravings, or yearnings are not met, some of us may resort to evil, wicked or crooked ways to get what we want, and by doing so, we may end up committing sin.
In today's reading, the Israelites were experiencing a recurring problem, that is, they turned to and worshipped idols, and did what displeased the Lord. Why did the Israelites commit such a sin? It is because of the kind of idols that they were continuously turning to, or in other words, the supposingly type of powers and abilities that such idols were thought to have, that caused the Israelites to persist in sinning against God. Who were these idols? They were Baal who was chief of the Canaanite pantheon and worshipped as the source of life and fertility, mightiest hero and lord of war; and Astarte who was worshipped as the beautiful goddess of fertility and sexual love. The Israelites persisted in worshipping them, in an effort to satisfy their desires, cravings, or yearnings for power, might, wealth, sex and the freedom from moral obligations. But did these idols really satisfy their desires, cravings, or yearnings? Of course not, since these idols do not have any power, and the desires, cravings, or yearnings of the Israelites could never be satisfied by such so called idols. But God offered the Israelites many opportunites to return to Him, even though at times He punished them for their iniquity, and even sent judges to try and help them. God never gave up on the Israelites, despite their constant turning away from God, and eventually the Israelites came to realise that it is only in God that their desires, cravings, or yearnings could ever be satisfied.
What about us? Are we still turning away from God to try and satisfy our desires, cravings, or yearnings through other ways or means? Let us remember that God offers us peace and joy that no amount of money can buy. It is up to us to accept God's offer, and let Him be our true provider.