“For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into the sanctuary to profane it… (Ezekiel 23:39)
In this portion of Ezekiel God is pronouncing judgment upon Israel and
Judah for their idolatry. They were so far removed from God they even
sacrificed their children to idols. Most likely this in is reference to
the fire god Molech. It is reported that the image was heated to a
glowing red, and then the children were placed in its arms to be burned
as a sacrifice.
When man turns away from God there is no limit to the depth of depravity to which he can go. (Rom. 1:21–32) This was not only true in the days of Israel, but is also very evident in the day in which we live.
God not only mentions the sacrifice of their children to idols, but
their hypocrisy. He notes that “on the same day” they came into the
sanctuary to profane it. Here we see the religious flesh. Sacrificing
children one moment, and entering God’s sanctuary the next. Oh the
depth of man’s depravity and the deceitfulness of our natural hearts!
Of course in this day and age we would never sacrifice children to
idols—or would we? Is it possible that we are guilty of very much the
same sin as the children of Israel? While we would never think of
burning our children to death, it may be possible that we are
sacrificing them to idols.
How about the idol of TV, or the idol of rock music? How about the
idols of success, immoral dress, worldly movies, sex, etc.? (We could
add today the idol of the internet.)
Is it possible that rather than pay the price of keeping them from
these idols, we merely throw in the towel and give them their way? Or
perhaps we actually encourage such activities and desires by our own
habits, or priorities.
Television has become the number one “baby–sitter.” When all else
fails, watch TV. Whatever happened to reading, games, or a little
basketball or ping–pong?
The inroads that “Christian Rock” has made into Christian homes is very
discouraging. Parents are under the false assumption that the label
“Christian” sanctions its use. First of all there is no difference
between it and the world’s rock music. Second, the words for the most
part are either shallow, erroneous, or indiscernible. (1 Cor. 14:8)
In addition, it has definite effects on the attitudes of children
toward Biblically based hymns, dress styles, and spiritual things in
general. There is not sufficient space in such a brief paper to
elaborate all the negative aspects of this idol. One thing is sure, if
your child is living with rock music of any kind, your child is playing
with fire and you may have been the one that sacrificed him to it.
Many parents have sacrificed their children to the immoral dress styles
of this world. Clothes that are either suggestive, and/or revealing. A
common cry is, “Where can you buy a modest bathing suit today?” If you
can’t find one, make one, or don’t go swimming! (They are out there if
one really wants to find one.) Romans 12:2
exhorts us not to allow the world to press us into its mold. We do
exactly that when we throw up our hands and allow them to dictate the
clothes we wear. The world’s styles revolve, for the most part, around
sex. It is no wonder that illicit sex is so rampant—people dress to
encourage it. (2 Sam. 11:2–5) Have you sacrificed your child to this idol?
How about the idol of success? Many fine Christian parents do more to
encourage success in the world’s things than they do in the things of
the Lord. More money, time, and energy are spent making sure that Mary
or Bob have the best education, the best house, the biggest wedding,
etc. How much time and energy are spent making sure that they are
equipped to live for, and serve the Lord? Where is our emphasis placed?
Have we sacrificed them to the god of this world?
The Creator designed the family so that parents would be able to guide
their children during their early years when they are easily misguided
by the world around them. (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4)
It is very easy for parents to sacrifice their children by failing to
provide the proper godly guidance to them during these tender years!
Why do we often sacrifice our children to the idols of this world? One
reason may be we do not love them enough to pay the price of such
guidance and discipline. We may be too lazy or selfish, and therefore
take what appears to be the easy way out. Love is willing to pay a
price! (John 3:16; Eph. 5:25)
There is a price to be paid to truly love our children. One has said,
“We either pay the price now, or pay it later.” That price may be
misunderstanding. It may be children getting angry at us, or worse.
However, if we really love them we will pay the price for their future
well-being. God does this for His children. (Heb. 12:6)
Perhaps we sacrifice our children to the world’s idols because we are
not spiritually awake to the dangers involved. Or perhaps we do not see
the world for what it really is—the enemy of God! (James 4:4)
Or perhaps we feel that setting Christian standards is legalism. The
Lord said, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” Was He being
legalistic? Paul desired that the love of the Philippian saints would
grow in knowledge and discernment in order that they might approve and
go in for “better” things.” (Phil. 1:9–10)
Love is not blind. To label all discerning judgment as “legalistic” is
foolish, and/or merely a way of justifying our behavior.
May we review our practices, and priorities to determine whether we are
sacrificing our children to the gods of this world, and on the same day
coming into the sanctuary of the Lord. While none of us are perfect
parents, may it be our desire and objective to raise our children in
the “nuture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)