Micah 6:7, Did God Command Child Sacrifice? Part II of II
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? –Micah 6:7
//Yesterday, I presented a few verses that seem to indicate that at one time, Israel sacrificed children to God. Indeed, child sacrifice seems to have been considered the highest form of sacrifice. In today’s verse, Micah, an 8th-century prophet, wonders if he should sacrifice his children to God.
In time, however, child sacrifice went out of fashion. It began to be considered barbaric, surely abhorred by God. That sort of cruelty belongs only to pagan gods, which Deuteronomy condemns, instructing Israel not to worship God in the manner of other nations, because “they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:31). Jeremiah multiple times condemns child sacrifice, instruction surely intended to raise Israel to a higher standard … for why would he bother condemning that which was not practiced in Israel? Indeed, the books of the Kings explains that the reason God sent the Assyrians to conquer Israel is because Israel was sacrificing children (See the story of King Manasseh).
So, Israel should earn our respect not because they never sacrificed children to their god, but because they recognized before many of their neighboring nations what a horrid thing it was to do … and quickly rose above it.