“that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.” 2 Kings 23:10
Burn – Do you think that the practice of infanticide in the ancient world was hideous? Are you revolted by the thought of putting children in the fire to burn them to death as sacrifices to the god Molech? Well, God agrees. He quite specifically forbids this ritual. You may think that He does so because He hates murder. You would be partially correct. But there is another reason behind this prohibition; a reason that we need to seriously consider even in our modern world.
The Hebrew in this verse actually reads, “cause to pass through the fire of”. The verb is avar (to pass through or over). These children were passing through the fire, a euphemism for the passage from life to death. And God hated this practice.
We need to ask why worshippers of Molech would sacrifice their children in such a horrible way. The answer reveals another sin. These people sacrificed their children because they believed that the death of these innocent ones would insure their own prosperity. They sacrificed life in order to preserve themselves. They killed the innocent in order to appease Molech so that he would send rains and sunshine to fertilize the earth. They were willing to sacrifice their children in an effort to bring about continued material prosperity. And that is the other side of the story. The second sin is the sin of denying that God is the real provider. It is the sin of placing my material well-being before the life of another.
It doesn’t take much reflection to realize that our world practices the same horrible sin today. Abortion is just a variation of saying, “My well-being comes before the well-being of another”. Abortion is a sanitized way to take care of myself at the expense of the innocent. It denies that God is the provider. It denies that God is the author of life. Abortion worships the god of self-concern.
Today’s culture would like to believe that the ancient world is vastly inferior and has little to teach us. But when we look below the surface, we see some very familiar attitudes and actions. It is way past time to ask what God has to say about our own apostasy.