Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
The people were willing to serve these other gods and had made a conscious decision to do so. They had known of God and known Him but still turned aside to their idols. And deep down, they probably knew they were powerless and unable to really do anything for them. It was just a form of worship with no real relationship. It was going through the motions with no real substance or responsibility. It was a way to appear religious and still be able to do whatever they wanted.
And despite continually choosing these other gods, the people also had a pattern of crying out to God when they were really in trouble. When things got particularly dire for them, they realized just how hollow and empty their worship was and their gods were. There was nothing in them that really mattered for what they needed in their lives. But now God tells them He won’t deliver them this time. He tells them to go for help to the gods they had chosen to adore.
We can’t have it both ways. We can’t just cry out to God when hard times come and ignore Him the rest of the time so we can do whatever we want. We can’t forsake Him for the gods of this world and expect Him to eagerly deliver us from every enemy or trial that comes our way. We can’t put all our focus and energy and effort into some other relationship, some other pursuit and then wonder why God doesn’t respond to our cries for help. He is a patient God, and He is longsuffering toward us, but sometimes His patience runs out.
So, where is our heart? What have we been relying on and trusting in? What have we been worshiping in our lives? Can we see that other things we try to depend on and devote so much to can’t really do anything for us when the going gets tough? It is only God who can deliver, only God who can provide for us all that we really need. So let’s invest ourselves in our relationship with Him. Let’s cultivate a closeness, a deep trust, a special dependence and reliance upon Him. And then when those trials do come, we’ll have Him right there to lean on instead of grasping for help from some hollow god of stone.