Sacrificing your children 

Old Testament: Lev 20.1–5

To read the Bible in a year, read Leviticus 20–21 on February 15, In the year of our Lord Christ 2023

By Don Ruhl 

There is a time not to sacrifice your children, and a time to sacrifice them. God told Israel that if one of them sacrificed his children to the fires of Molech: 

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Again, you shall say to the children of Israel: Whoever of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name.”

– Leviticus 20.1–3 

This matter was so serious that if Israel ignored someone committing this sin, God would be against the people for failing to carry out the death penalty. Here is what he said about his treatment of the idolater: 

“And if the people of the land should in any way hide their eyes from the man, when he gives some of his descendants to Molech, and they do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.”

– Leviticus 20.4–5 

How could an Israelite ever sacrifice his children to the fires of Molech? How could a woman today ever sacrifice her child in abortion? How can any parent neglect or even abandon his child? 

Yet, are there times when the sacrifice of a child is noble, although still extremely painful? What if there is a war that must be fought and a family allows their son to go to war? Have they not sacrificed their child? What if a child rebels against his parents and refuses to associate with them because they follow Christ? Those parents have to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ, and the result might be, that they will never see their children again. I know of situations just like this. 

Never should we sacrifice our children for convenience or for false religion or many other reasons, but there may be times of nobility when it is necessary, not that we kill our children, but we may have to give them for a noble cause. 


  • What do you think motivated people to burn their children as offerings to a false god? 
  • Do you put the Lord above your children? 

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Don preaches with the Savage Street Church of Christ in Grants Pass, Oregon. 

Listen to his sermons here:

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