At the time of Noah, the people of the world became extremely wicked. Their thoughts and desires were constantly evil (Genesis 6:5). That was why God made his judgement against them. He allowed the great flood to kill them all.
Christ said that the world would be in a similar state immediately before his return (Matthew 24:37). The people of this world will be completely evil. Even the terrible judgements in Revelation chapter 9 will have no effect on their attitudes. They will proudly continue the same wicked behaviour as before.
Verse 20 describes their religion. Their gods are devils. The people put their trust in objects that they themselves have made. Some of these things are valuable, but others have no value. If a person has gold or silver, he makes it his god; if not, he puts his trust in an image of wood or stone. Such things deserve no honour; they cannot save anyone from their troubles (Isaiah 44:9-20).
It is wrong to take the honour that God deserves, and to give that honour to an image. Of course, many people do that simply because they do not know the real God. The people in verse 20 are doing something much worse than that. They have seen Godís judgements against the world, the sea and the sky (chapter 8). God has permitted them to see how cruel and how awful the devil and his evil spirits are (chapter 9). However, even after these events, the people of this world refuse to change their attitudes. They choose, proudly and on purpose, to do things that God declares to be evil (verse 21). They serve devils instead of God. They are not humble in front of God. They have suffered all these troubles but still they refuse to change their minds.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.