Did you notice the mention of sacrifices to Molech in the day 9 reading? It may have been easy to breeze right past it, because it wasn’t focused on very much. But it’s important enough that I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little about why this was so detestable to God.
First, it was human sacrifice, which God never wanted. Jesus was the only human sacrifice ever planned by God, and that was by His choice. Jesus’ perfect life is the only reason this was planned, because it was the ultimate sacrifice to end sacrifice.
But not only was sacrifices to Molech human sacrifice, it was child sacrifice. Sometimes even infant sacrifice. If you remember in our “Urban Legends” series a few weeks ago, I mentioned Gehenna, which was a valley outside of Jerusalem, where pagan sacrifices used to take place. This is where these sacrifices to Molech were undertaken.
Molech was a pagan god, which the inhabitants of the land of Canaan before the Israelites, built an altar to him. This was a huge altar, shaped like a man seated with his arms stretched out in front of him. The back of the image was open and turned into a furnace. The fires in the furnace would be burned so hot, that it would make the arms of the altar glow red-hot. The child sacrifices would then be placed in the arms of Molech.
So, in the midst of telling His chosen people how to make sacrifices for their sins, God took the time to tell Moses to make sure that the people of Israel did not fall into the trap of making sacrifices to a pagan god. This act was detestable to God, and He didn’t want His people falling into it. Israel actually struggled with this throughout it’s history, however, which we will see as we continue this reading. Not really an insightful post, but more of an fyi this time.