They honored and worshiped God, but they also kept up their devotions to the old gods of the places they had come from.
And they're still doing it, still worshiping any old god that has nostalgic appeal to them. They don't really worship God - they don't take seriously what he says regarding how to behave and what to believe, what he revealed to the children of Jacob whom he named Israel.
God made a covenant with his people and ordered them, "Don't honor other gods: Don't worship them, don't serve them, don't offer sacrifices to them.
Worship God, the God who delivered you from Egypt in great and personal power. Reverence and fear him. Worship him. Sacrifice to him. And only him!
All the things he had written down for you, directing you in what to believe and how to behave - well, do them for as long as you live. And whatever you do, don't worship other gods!
And the covenant he made with you, don't forget your part in that. And don't worship other gods!
Worship God, and God only - he's the one who will save your from enemy oppression."
But they didn't pay any attention. They kept doing what they'd always done.
As it turned out, all the time these people were putting on a front of worshiping God, they were at the same time involved with their local idols. And they're still doing it. Like father, like son.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)