Peter Adam:

It is certainly the case that in the Old Testament, sacred times, places, objects and actions are inextricably part of the revelation, and foundational to life with God. It is important to remember that these times, places, objects, people, and actions express the covenant relationship between the Lord and his people. They are expressions of covenant holiness: they are sacred because they are aspects of the covenant.

The moral dimension of sacredness in the Old Testament means that when God’s people turn away from him, the sacred things have no positive value and indeed become a snare. The danger is to turn away from God, but to continue to trust in the sacred times, places, objects, people or actions when these things no longer express covenant relationship with God…

There are two major sins in the Old Testament, both of which have to do with the use of sacred objects, places, times and people.

One sin is to follow other gods, to trust their prophets, to engage in their worship, to worship their idols and to trust in them and serve them.

The other sin is to use the sacred objects, places, times and people given by God, but to turn away from God, whose covenant they represent.

The first sin is that of idolatry, and the second that of false security, holding the form but not the power of godliness.