In the Old Testament we read about a certain type of idol worship that was particularly terrible. We read in Jeremiah 32:35 that the Israelites
“built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I (God) never commanded—nor did it enter my mind—that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.”
As far as I understand it, the worship of Molek involved child sacrifice to this false god. The picture to the side is a representation of what the idol may have looked like and according to one Jewish Rabbi in the 12th Century the idols would be heated in the lower parts, and a child along with other ‘ingredients’ would be sacrificed in worship to this false god.
But that got me thinking. We look at this ‘barbaric’ way of worshipping an idol and we despise it. But in reality we do the same thing in our culture.
Our ‘gods’ are convenience and ‘choice’ and we sacrifice our children to them as well.
What is abortion aside from child sacrifice for the ‘gods’ of our age? In our consumeristic culture, which is centred around me and what I want (because ‘I’m worth it’), there is a price to be paid. We sacrifice our unborn children for convenience. We kill them for the sake of ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’. Women want to progress in their jobs instead of having a baby to look after. Men want an easy life, we cry ‘I’m not ready for that kind of responsibility’. So we kill our children for the sake of our desires and for the sake of convenience.
Here are some statistics.
According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.
In Australia there were about 78 000 abortions per year (average between 2000 and 2009), and in America there are around 3000 babies killed per day.
But the truth is that Abortion isn’t the only way we worship these idols. Even families who have children neglect them or abuse them. And even those of us who think that we are ‘better’ then all of ‘those’ people need to open our eyes and realise just how depraved we all are.
Yet just like Molek in the Old Testament, Convenience and ‘Choice’ cannot save. They are lies to distract us from our own desperate need for a saviour. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we have all followed suit an. We have collectively and individually disobeyed God, broken his perfect and good law and rejected him. As a result of sin death entered the world. But not only that – we deserve hell eternally because of our disobedience to God. We cannot help ourselves. We cannot do anything to make ourselves good enough for God. All we deserve is his perfect, holy and just wrath.
But God is merciful. He sent Jesus, his only son, into the world as a man. Jesus lived a perfect life. He did not disobey God like us. He didn’t deserve to suffer and die. And yet that’s what he did. He willingly gave up his own life. He died on the cross, taking the punishment that we deserve – God’s wrath for sin, and he has provided a way for us to be saved. He calls us to “Repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). He tells us to give up our sin, to say sorry to God and to trust in Him. When we do that Jesus’ sacrifice becomes applicable for us – he takes our sin and God’s wrath, and we are forgiven. We take his sinless perfection and are adopted as God’s children.
But Jesus didn’t only die. He rose again. He paid the penalty for sin, and since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), he came back to life. He proves that he truly did deal with every last bit of our sin because he conquered death as well – sin had been dealt with so the consequence of it (death) was no longer necessary. What’s more, Jesus then went to heaven and he is with God as our mediator.
We look at the idol worship of the Israelites and consider it barbaric. But we need to look at ourselves. We are no different. We kill our babies for the sake of our own idols, and we all disobey God in thousands of different ways. Only God can break that cycle. Only he can rescue us from our hopeless depravity – and he offers us that forgiveness and salvation through Jesus.
So the question is, have you put your faith in him?