“break down their altars and dash their standing-stones in pieces.” God has no tolerance for idols. They are harmful in many different ways. They take away focus and worship from the one true God, which hurts a person’s relationship with God and can cost them salvation and everlasting life, or rewards in the future kingdom.
Furthermore, the worship that idols are given attracts demons. Demons crave worship, and are attracted to items that receive worship whether or not what is being worshiped was designed to be worshiped or not. For example, an idol, image of a god, or an amulet or something that supposedly has inherent power to protect, bring good fortune, etc., is designed to be worshiped or venerated, whereas “regular items” are certainly not designed for that purpose. But if a person begins to worship or venerate a “regular object” for some reason, and attributes invisible power to that object and gives it special attention (which is veneration), say a “lucky hat” or something, that veneration can attract a demon, and demons always work to destroy people’s lives, and they can work. There is nothing good or redeeming in an idol, they are to be destroyed, something God says often in the Bible (cp. Exod. 23:24; 34:13; Num. 33:52; Deut. 7:5, 25; 12:2-3). Godly kings like Josiah obeyed the command of Yahweh (2 Kings 23:6-15). Idols and images of gods often are quite valuable because they can be made from valuable material such as gold, silver, precious stones, or even valuable or beautiful wood, or those valuable things can be part of the object. The wise believer who knows how the spirit world works does not hesitate to destroy those idols and objects of veneration because no amount of worldly wealth or beauty is worth hurting one’s relationship with God and giving demons access to one’s life because those demons only cause terrible harm.
[For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18. For more on the coming kingdom of Christ on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.” For more on rewards in Christ’s future kingdom, see commentary on 2 Cor. 5:10, “good or evil.”]