You have heard the famous line, “You are what you eat.” Long before this became a popular phrase, the Israelites learned, as G.K. Beale says, “we become like what we worship.” When Israel (the northern kingdom) loses its last king, along with any vestiges of its former power, we are told in succinct fashion what has gone wrong: “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless” (2 Kings 17:15). Israel became like what they worshiped. If we worship sticks and stones, we are completely powerless like them. Or if we were to worship gods that we think command us to sacrifice children to appease them, we would very likely be mistrustful and harsh.
But people today worship other “gods” that don’t typically go by that name. Some worship prestige, and their emotional lives are marked by the ups and downs that come with being captive to the praise of others. On the flip side, if we worship the true God, the God who is love, we will become more loving the more we are dazzled by God. If our hearts are enamored by the holiness of God, we live increasingly in light of His good statutes. We become like what we worship for ill, but also for good. If we wish to become truly good, then we must worship the only true and good God.