It’s not too hard to mock the Israelites for their seemingly endless fascination with worshiping Baal, the storm god of the Canaanites, and his sister-wife Asherah, the queen of heaven. The Canaanites seemed to the Israelites to have a much better life, and so it made sense to the Israelites to appeal to Baal for similar help. Any prosperity that then came to them must have come from Baal, right?
This is what God was hearing from his people: “We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven [i.e., Asherah] and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine” (Jeremiah 44:17,18).
With deep disappointment, God had his prophet Jeremiah announce the judgments that would be coming upon his faithless children. He describes himself without apology as a jealous God, one who will not share worship with anyone or anything else in all creation. Their perceptions of Baal as the divine cause of good things in their lives were illusions of the devil.
Anything we love, trust in, or fear more than God is an idol, and any perceived benefit from that idol is a devilish lie.