For this thing is from Israel — a craftsman made it, and it is not God. The calf of Samaria will be smashed to bits! – Hosea 8:6
When the northern and southern tribes of Israel split up, the northerners created their own golden calves as an alternative to God-proscribed worship in Jerusalem. This was just one more step in a long line of spiritual “departures” for Israel and ultimately they all led to God’s judgment and their dispersion.
In order to pronounce His judgment on Israel, God led Hosea to recall the history of where their troubles began … and He did not mince words. Hosea said that their god was, in reality, nothing more than a man-made, worthless, “thing.” The prophet told them that it was utterly ridiculous for them to worship their idol and that God would prove His point by destroying it.
Such is the origin of all our spiritual “departures”; something worthless, that we have fashioned, takes God’s rightful place in our lives. For Israel, it began with the search for a replacement “god” that would allow them to remain within the borders of their own safe and secure “reality.” For us, it is no different. Easily managed “gods” that fit into our convenient uninterrupted lives are quite typically worthless. We must smash them.
Every people have gods to suit their circumstances. – Henry David Thoreau