“Sacrificing Children To Idols”

Categories: Parenting


Sacrificing Children To Idols

Gene & Kathy White

“Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me, and you sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small matter? You slaughtered my children, and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire” (Ezekiel 16:20–21).

The degeneration of the Israelites is graphically pictured in these verses. They had turned their hearts away from God to graven idols, even to the point of sacrificing their own children to these gods of wood and stone.

The worship of the god Molech was in particular a very gruesome ritual. Molech was the detestable god of the Ammonites, usually graven from brass. Its head was that of a calf with a crown on it, its arms were outstretched, and it was seated upon a throne. The idol was designed with a cavity at its abdomen. In this hole, a blazing fire burned, sending flames throughout its body and limbs. When its brazen arms were searing hot, the sacrificial victim was placed on them and almost immediately burned to death. From the time of King Ahaz downward, the Israelites actually sacrificed their own children to Molech by burning them alive (Commentary on the Old Testament, Keil and Delitzsch).

In our own hearts, we shudder and stoically declare, “How terrible! We would never do anything like that!” However, we should consider a moment before we condemn these Israelites of so long ago. Is it not possible that we, too, could be guilty of sacrificing our children to idols? Of course, we do not take our children to a literal graven image and sacrifice them as an offering to some “Molech.” I would suggest, however, that we do the same thing in sacrificing our children to the idols of our modern material world. Please consider the following:

• Do we sacrifice our children and their spiritual character on the altar of physical pleasure?

• Do we sacrifice our children and their spiritual growth on the altar of social advancement?

• Do we sacrifice our children and their spiritual development on the altar of earthly treasure?

• Do we sacrifice our children and their spiritual understanding on the altar of worldly knowledge?

• Do we sacrifice our children and their spirituality on the altar of sensual appetites?

Moral decay is all around us. Instead of being separate unto the Lord, Christians are striving to be as much like the godless world around them as possible. Worst of all, we are not teaching our children to be holy to God, to be different from the world. The Israelites sacrificed the physical bodies of their children to heathen gods. In like manner, we are sacrificing our children’s spiritual well-being to the gods of this present world. We must set our minds on the things from above and guide our children in the paths of righteousness. Let us do our duty as parents to raise up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Please consider these verses from Psalm 78:5–7: “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children. That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”

The Israelites of old were commanded to teach their children about Jehovah God. We read in Jeremiah 9:13–14 that these specially chosen people of God were actually teaching their children the “ways of idols”! Let us determine not to follow in the example of the Israelites. Rather, let us teach our children to place their confidence in the Lord of heaven, to not forget the works of God, and to keep His commandments.


Christianity Magazine: January 1988, Volume 5, Number 1. 1988. Christianity Magazine: Jacksonville, FL