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Does God believe in child sacrifices?

The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. 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. If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek 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 Molek. Leviticus 20:1-5

God could not stand the god Molek (Molech) that asked people to sacrifice their children. He asked for the death penalty against anyone who disobeyed or those who knew it was going on yet looked the other way from this practice.

Many think God approves of child sacrifices because of the story in Genesis 22. God asks Abraham to take his son, Isaac, up to a mountain and sacrifice him. Abraham heads to the mountain to do just that. Many believe this is an indication that God believes in child sacrifices.

But it was never God’s intention that Abraham would kill Isaac. Even Abraham knew that. When Isaac asked where the animal sacrifice was...

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. Genesis 22:8

When they got to the mountain and Abraham laid Isaac on the altar and lifted the knife, God stopped him.

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12

It was just a test to see whether this child—the one Abraham and his wife so desperately wanted for years—had become more important to them than the God who promised them this son.

Sometimes God asks us to lay our precious items on the altar to be sacrificed, not that God necessarily wants to take them away, but that we need to show that we hold on to them loosely.

God himself never asks from us something that he is not willing to sacrifice himself. Over a thousand years later, God would bring his son, Jesus Christ, to this very mountain and sacrifice him for all mankind. This act by Abraham was a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice to come.