“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death.The members of the community are to stone him. If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molech and if they fail to put him to death, I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”-Leviticus 20:2-5
We’ve talked quite a bit about MOLECH worship and how it involved the abominable practice of child sacrifice.
One thing I need to make clear is that MOLECH was NOT real.
It matters not how sincere and dedicated MOLECH believers were that they would take their babies and toss them into a burning fire to appease MOLECH.
Ultimately, MOLECH was a figment of fallen mankind’s imagination, a result of man’s evil inclination being led astray by the devil himself.
The whole idea was that if a worshipper sacrificed his child to MOLECH, the remainder of the family would be blessed with prosperity and well-being.
That was actually the point of most child sacrifices, which leads me to my next point.
I would not be doing my job in properly handling God’s Word if I didn’t tell you the truth.
Abortion is the equivalent of MOLECH worship today.
Abortion is nothing less than modern day child sacrifice.
Think about it.
Why do people have abortions?
It’s always for selfish reasons like one’s own personal well being, prosperity or comfort.
Sometimes doctors even encourage abortions.
They’ll tell a mother, the yet unborn baby in your womb has a defect, so you would probably be better off just terminating the life because otherwise it could prove to be costly, troublesome and heartbreaking.
Or maybe you have a young couple, the woman’s pregnant but they decide to abort the child because it would put a burden on their already stretched-to-the-limit finances.
Our modern day secular humanists view life as a threat to what they perceive to be an over-populated planet.
Hence, they reason the compassionate and kind thing to do is to abort the child.
All such attitudes reflect the very essence of MOLECH worship.
Actually, let me rephrase.
What they are doing IS MOLECH worship!
And what is the penalty for MOLECH worship?
The Lord says it is death.
He’s talking about our death, NOT the death of the innocent victim.
God pronounces the death penalty not just on those who commit the act, but also those who tolerate it from the sidelines.
The means of execution is to be by stoning.
An interesting word is used to describe those who are to do the stoning.
The word is ‘AM HA’ARETS.
This term is referring to ordinary Israelite citizens.
However, we’re not talking about vigilante justice here.
There were certain appointed people chosen for the task but they were NOT the elders, the tribal leaders, the chieftains, and neither were they the priests or members of a court.
They were basically low-level leaders who exercised a degree of authority in ordinary community affairs.
Why did God choose the method of stoning for execution as opposed to maybe decapitation or shooting the condemned with arrows?
The main reason was for the purpose of communal participation which indicates communal acknowledgement of the wickedness committed.
Also, the execution for the crime of MOLECH worship should not be quick and painless but bloody and brutal to dissuade anyone residing in Israel from participating in such abominable idolatry.
One would take a serious pause for reflection before even thinking about participating in MOLECH worship.
Finally, there is a principle established in verse 3 that I want to make sure you catch.
“I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.”
The English kind of misses the mark.
First of all, the principle that death has a 2-fold nature, a physical death and a spiritual death, is established.
Second, beyond this dual aspect of death, we are told that if the people will not properly execute the MOLECH worshipper, God will CUT HIM OFF in His own time and in His own way.
Recall that the Hebrew word for “cut off” is KARET and it has a variety of meanings.
It can mean having one’s normal life span shortened or being excommunicated from God’s people and therefore from God Himself.
In some cases, it can also mean immediate death directly by the hand of God (like what happened to NADAV and AVIHU) or it can mean that some misfortune will come in a later generation.
Regardless of what form KARET takes, it always has to do with divine retribution, as opposed to some kind of civil court ruling.