This continues my series on a biblical theology of worship.
God called Abraham to worship him (Gen 17:1-10; 22). God rescued Israel from Egypt so that they would worship him (Ex 3:12; 7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1, 13; 10:3). God gave his people his law so that they would worship him with their whole being (Ex 20:1-17; Deut 6:4-6; Deut 10:12-17), which included caring for the weak (Deut 10:18-22).
The promised land was supposed to be a place of pure worship (Deut 4:13-14, 39-40; 11:8-25; etc). In so doing, they were supposed to encourage the surrounding nations to worship their God – the LORD (Deut 4:5-8) – which is really quite good and healthy, because the LORD is the one true God who deserves everyone’s worship.
But Israel failed to worship the LORD. Instead, they worshiped idols and abused each other (Is 2:6-9, 20-22; Jer 7:1-11; Ezek 8; etc). That made God so angry that he eventually kicked them out of his land (2 Kings 17:7-23; 23:26-27; Jer 3:1-10; Ezek 36:17-23; etc).