Child sacrifice is supremely offensive to God

The God that we serve is a loving and just and merciful God. He’s gracious and He is for us. It’s a wonderful thing. We don’t want to offend Him. We don’t want to transgress Him. Obviously, we’ve talked about the fact that abortion incurs His righteous indignation, His just wrath for those who intentionally or unintentionally defame His glory.

And we’ve talked about the fact that murder is one of those things that God is against because murder takes the life of an innocent human being made in the image of God. As we read the Old Testament Scriptures in particular, we start to see that the sin of Israel began to grow over time as they failed to do what God told them to do.

They began to assimilate with the Canaanites that they failed to drive out of the land. They began to intermarry with them and to take on and imitate some of the local customs. Their hearts were always prone to that right from the beginning. But as time went on, they even began to imitate their neighbors in the heinous practice of child sacrifice.

And why was it that some of the strongest language of judgment, and proclamation of punishment in the entire Bible was reserved for the sin of child sacrifice in particular? Why is it that child sacrifice seems uniquely and supremely offensive to God? The answer is that it is offensive to kill because God is the author of life.

It goes a step further when we kill humans who are made in the image of God. It is more offensive to God when we kill innocent humans and child sacrifice does exactly that. It kills an innocent human intentionally. And not only that, it kills a child. We said in the last video in this series that children exemplify faith and innocence.

They are the picture, the very picture of innocence and trust. For that reason, child sacrifice is supremely offensive to God. But not only does child sacrifice kill an innocent human child intentionally, but it kills an innocent human child intentionally in the name of worship, in the name of worshipping a deity that is not even a true deity.

It’s a false God or demons that are being sacrificed to or theoretically appeased. When we commit child sacrifice or when the Israelites of the Old Testament committed child sacrifice, God is a holy and righteous and perfect God. We should worship Him rightly and justly. But in this case, not only are we doing the things that are most offensive to Him, but we are doing it in the name of worshipping false gods.

How can it be any more contrary to what God has commanded of us? Not to be too crass, it’s like celebrating your friend’s birthday by violating his daughter. That’s just the opposite of what it is that you should be doing, what you should set out to do in order to honor and celebrate the life of your friend.

This is supremely offensive to God that people would worship false gods by doing what He specifically forbade and doing it in a way that violates the dignity of human life and value of an innocent human child.

Let me read to you one of the passages that we so often look at when we go back and study the offensiveness of child sacrifice in the Old Testament. This is a passage from Leviticus chapter 20, starting in verse 2, which says this: Say to the people of Israel, any one of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who gives any of his children to Molech. a Canaanite god, shall surely be put to death.

And when He says gives any of his children to Molech, He means sacrificing their lives in worship of Molech. The people of the land, it goes on to say, shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people because he has given one of his children to Molech to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name.

And if the people of the land close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.

These are strong, decisive and fearful words from a holy God who obviously is taking this sin extraordinarily serious. I’m going to take this very seriously. So seriously that He not only indicts the man who puts His child to death in worship of the false god, Molech, but He also says, if the people do nothing about it, if they pretend like this man isn’t doing it, if they don’t stone him to death for his wickedness, then I will not only set my face against him, but I will set my face against all of his people.

Again, that goes back to the communal aspect sometimes of sin, and the fact that we are guilty by association and it goes back to some of our earlier lessons in this series, in which we talked about the fact that it is wrong to commit sin. It is also wrong to allow others to commit sin or to sit by idly and watch or be passive when it comes to wickedness and evil.

God will also hold that person responsible. because God is fair. It’s not that He’s vitriolic, it’s not that He’s mean and vindictive. It is that He has to protect the beauty and the glory and the righteousness of His holy name. That is part of His character. He cannot overlook sin. He cannot wink at sin as if it didn’t matter or didn’t happen.

He has to punish. He has to protect His own glory and righteousness by acting. So my encouragement for you today as you’re listening to this is walk in righteousness. God has set before us the way of peace and righteousness and He has set before us the way of the fool or wickedness or evil. Walk in the righteous way. That’s what I tell my kids all the time. It seems like I don’t know that’s a little formulaic. Dad, maybe that won’t work. But the truth is, if you want to find peace, obey God. You won’t have to hide. You won’t have to worry about how or what his reaction will be. Our God is holy.

We do not want to offend or move or act in a way that is contrary but do that which He has asked us to do in order to preserve His favorable standing in relationship with us. Walk in righteousness.