As I read this today I got to thinking about moms and dads sacrificing their babies to a pretend god called Molech. The pagan people in the neighborhood practiced this cruel ritual. But here in Leviticus God is telling His own people not to do it, and what the rest of the Jews should do to the one who throws their child into the fire. It makes me so sad.
When I read what Scripture has to say about idolatry I admit I tend to think of weird looking carvings sitting on someone’s bedside table, or a huge likeness of a demon with fire coming out of its mouth perched on the side of a mountain. But today God seems to be asking me to consider another, more subtle form of idolatry.
Can a job become an idol? Can a relationship? Is there such a thing as a popularity, or a success idol? Can an idol look like my “self?” We in a civilized society don’t throw our children into a fire to appease an idol. But I wonder if we don’t sacrifice our children in other ways.
I wonder how many children are sacrificed for the job idol, or the self idol. I wonder how many little ball players keep glancing toward the stands to find the face of a parent who sacrificed that little one to appease a boss, or a pilates class. I wonder how many children have been sacrificed to the god of alcohol and drugs.
Homes and families have imploded because of the idol of self, or success. And the children are the first casualties. We may shake our head and say confidently that we would never allow our child to be thrown into the fire as a sacrifice to an idol.
But I wonder if that is true.
God declares repeatedly that, “I am the Lord your God.” I pray that He is your God, and that your children are blessed because He is.