Watch this Video on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel
Read Ezekiel 20:18-42
18 I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the statutes of your parents or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”
21 “ ‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols. 25 So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; 26 I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.’
27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this also your ancestors blasphemed me by being unfaithful to me: 28 When I brought them into the land I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them: What is this high place you go to?’ ” (It is called Bamah to this day.)
30 “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images? 31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not let you inquire of me.
32 “ ‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 34 I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. 35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. 36 As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 37 I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39 “ ‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols, every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name with your gifts and idols. LORD. 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings and your choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices. 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy through you in the sight of the nations. 42 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors. 43 There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”
“Molech and Child Sacrifice in Israel – Sacrifice to Molech—usually involving child sacrifice, especially firstborn males—is prohibited in Lev 20:2–5 (compare Lev 18:21; 20:2–5; 2 Kgs 23:10; Jer 32:35). In Israel, child sacrifice was most prominent in Topheth during Manasseh’s reign (2 Chr 33:6; 2 Kgs 23:10). The kings Ahaz and Manasseh are said to have made their own sons “pass through the fire” (2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6 LEB).
Child sacrifices may have been offered to other deities as well (see Jer 19). Mesha, king of Moab, sacrifices his eldest son as a burnt offering in 2 Kgs 3:26–27. Although the text does not specify to which deity this sacrifice was made, it was likely made to Chemosh.” Favara, April. “Molech.” Ed. John D. Barry et al. The Lexham Bible Dictionary 2016
“20:1–32 The stench of Israel’s sin is great. Verse by verse, God recounts how generations of Israelites compounded their sins. God desired to pour His wrath against them (vv 8, 13, 21) but, by His grace, stilled His own hand (vv 9, 14, 22). Today, make repentance a way of life. The heavenly Father will pardon your sins for the sake of Jesus, our Savior. He will raise His hand in blessing and incline His ear to hear your prayer. ”
Engelbrecht, Edward A. The Lutheran Study Bible. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009.
Lord God, thankfully we do not receive what our sins deserve—eternal death. By Your grace, we receive eternal life. Amen.