The other great sin of those earlier generations that the prophets had spoken against was hypocrisy: worship divorced from any serious commitment to obeying God in everyday life. Israel never, as far as we can tell, abandoned worship altogether - including the worship of the LORD. Rather, they corrupted it with idolatry, and divorced it from life, so that it became a form of superstition, a way of 'keeping God happy' and securing benefits from him, rather than of recognizing his kingship.We are more prone to this than we realize. Which is why the prophetic wake-up call of Zechariah (and the other OT prophets) is so needed and relevant for us today.
Zechariah 1:3-6 (emphasis added):
Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.' But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares the LORD. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers?