Why did God have to warn his people about sacrificing their own children? (Deut. 12:31)

Why did God have to warn his people about sacrificing their own children? (12:31)--” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Deuteronomy 12:31

ESV - 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 15 2018 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
As implied in the question, it would seem so intuitively obvious that people should not sacrifice their own children that God should not have even had to mention it to Israel.

However, God was well aware of the tendency of the Israelites to want to "be like other nations" (as occurred when they asked Samuel to appoint a king over them, rather than being ruled directly by God (1 Samuel 8:4-22)) -- even when that meant adopting practices and beliefs of those pagan nations that God had specifically forbidden, and regardless of how abhorrent those practices (such as the sacrificing of children) might be.

Therefore, God gave the specific command against child sacrifice to the Israelites to leave them with no excuse (such as ignorance) for such actions, and to fully justify His punishment of the nation if they would disobey Him and adopt those practices anyway.

June 15 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
This is a great question. 

We're talking about the people whom God chose to be his own special people. 

For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession (Psa 135:4).

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psa 33:12)

But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day (Deut 4:20). 

What does that tell us about people? God has chosen a people who has to be told not to sacrifice the lives of their own children (TO HIM) in an attempt to make their own lives better; in an attempt to get God to shower them with blessings from above. 

The above scripture, Deut 4:20, gives us a hint. It says 'God took his people out of Egypt.' In the scriptures, Egypt represents 'the world.' 

God could have put all the peoples of the world in a big hat, closed his eyes and pulled one out, and he would have gotten the same wretched crop every time! In fact, that's what he did; only he didn't have to close his eyes; he knew what he was getting. 

In spite of all the preaching and teaching that tells that there was nothing special about Abram (renamed Abraham by God) that caused God to choose him to be the father of 'a great nation,' there is still a tendency to believe that Abraham was a 'good man' as part of the reason he was chosen. And that is in spite of the writer of Genesis telling us things about him that reveal to us that he was just an ordinary, everyday sinful man. 

Which brings us to such a question as the one we're here entertaining. Here is my reading of the question: 'why would God have chosen such people? These crazy people don't know any better than to build a great big fire and throw their own children in it, in an attempt to appease an angry God!'

Does any part of this sound familiar? A father throwing his children in a great fire? Only it isn't for a sacrifice, but as punishment because of the father's wrath, because of his fierce anger! 

At least the babies that were sacrificed in the fire died; in the incredible story of a world of 'eternal punishment,' the souls aren't even given the relief of death; they're in a never-ending story of torment. 

I'm glad I don't get that revelation from reading the scriptures. I'm glad I don't think of my Lord that way. I'm glad he hasn't told me that he constructed such a horrible place for lost souls. 

It isn't that I don't hear from the Lord; I do; and I have never been told that there is a punishment worse than dying awaiting the souls whom he doesn't save. Yes, lost souls are thrown into a great fire! And destroyed! 

And if anyone's name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).

"To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Rev 21:6-8)

Why are there two deaths? And what is meant by "the one who conquers"? And if you take literally the list of those sinners who will be thrown into the lake of fire, you must include Moses as a murderer, Abraham and Peter as liars, David as a murderer and a sexual deviant, king Saul as a man taken in by sorcery, and Solomon and all of Israel as idolaters. 

All of these 'Stars' of scripture are guilty as charged. They died the first death, the death of the part of us over which we have a little bit of control, our body. The rest of it is left up to the One who sits on the Great White Throne, who has the Book Of Life. 

And just like God chose "Jacob" as a special people, a people who if left to their own way of doing, would throw their own children into a fire to benefit themselves, God chooses from an equally sinful 'Egypt' (Gentile world) a special people whose names he has written in the Book Of Life. And he did it for no reason other than the fact that 'he does as he pleases.'

David wrote: Your eyes saw my unformed substance (what was he looking at if it was unformed?); in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)

God is sovereign! He saw David (and me) before we were ever formed. He saw our lives, all of our days, (even after this earthly life is finished) before we lived any of it. 

He didn't create us for suffering! 

Here it is: we're all guilty of "throwing our babies in the fire."... (destroying our own future) God put a stop to it in Christ!

December 12 2023 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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