Offering Your Children to Idols

Friday, July 10, 2020
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Scripture: For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you. Ezekiel 20:31 (NKJV)

Observation: When some of the elders in exile came to inquire of the Lord, He refused to answer them. Instead He told Ezekiel to review the nation’s rebellious history. From the very beginning, when the Lord confronted His people in Egypt, they resisted His will by clinging to their idols. After He had delivered them from bondage and given them the law, they rebelled in the wilderness. Though the Lord prohibited that generation from entering the promised land, He preserved their children and warned them not to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. However, the children, while still in the wilderness, sinned against the Lord. When He finally established them in the land, they worshiped Canaanite gods at pagan sanctuaries. Ezekiel’s idolatrous contemporaries were no different. Consequently the Lord would purify them through judgment and exile. Once He had removed the rebellious worshipers of idols, He would restore the nation to the land. The people then would repudiate their former behavior and worship the Lord in purity. [Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. (1992). Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.]

Application: The thought of throwing one of our children to an idolatrous fire is horrendous, in fact, preposterous.  It shocks us to think that people would do such hideous things to innocent children, particularly their own.  And yet I have often wondered how often parents today through their children to other idols and don’t think twice about it. 
     One of those ways in which have inadvertently thrown our children to the fire happened when we opened up the internet to our children with no guidance, supervision, boundaries, or discipline.  In fact, we’re really throwing them into one of the biggest fires there is.  The internet has provided us with a limitless amount of information and resources, but it has also opened up avenues to sin which were unthinkable just a few years ago.  But we have make it easy and convenient for our children to have access to the good, the bad, and the dangerous of the internet without as much as a blink of the eye.  Even those parents who have protected their home by not having cable television, or television at all, have now opened their homes to something even worse, and with much greater influence.  Parents who never took their children to the movies, and maybe never brought videos home, are unaware that all those Tv programs and videos are all available on the internet and their children are watching them all.
     Another area where some parents are throwing their children to idol fire is by sending them to public schools.  I know there are no Seventh-day Adventist Schools everywhere, and for some parents that is the only choice they have.  I worry about those parents who had one or several Adventist schools available in the area where they live and yet choose to send their children to public schools where they are being taught things contrary to what the Bible teaches and to what their parents believe.  They think that as long as they take their kids to church on Sabbath, which is good, their kids will be fine.  But how can one to three hours a week at church can have as strong an influence as forty hours a week at school?  While no church school is perfect, it sure is a better alternative than a secular environment for those many hours each week.
     In what other areas are you maybe throwing your children to idol fire?  Sports, extracurricular activities (dance lessons, beauty pageants, cheerleading competitions, little league sports played on Sabbath, etc.).  Why are we more interested in making sure our children experience the greatest variety of activities?  Is it so that others will not think we’re depriving them of something “good?”  Are we trying to keep up with the neighbors, or friends in how much we expose our children to?
     I encourage you to look at the activities to which you are exposing your children and at least offer them as much time, if not more, in activities where they will learn about God and service to others.  Lear to present your children to God instead of making them an offering to worldly idols.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, we pause to present our children to You again just now and ask that You bless them, protect them, and guide them.  Help us to unclutter our life and schedule so that we may have more time for them to help them come closer to You each day.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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