Child sacrifice in Old Testament Israel
Psalm 106 contains a long list of Israel’s sins. The people were guilty of rebellion according to verse 7, craving what they shouldn’t crave according to verse 14, jealousy according to verse 16, idolatry according to verse 19, despising God’s gifts to them according to verse 24, and on and on it goes.
But it’s the last sin of this psalm that grabs my attention. Notice verses 37 and 38. The psalmist laments, “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood” (Ps 106:37, 38).
The writer of this psalm names sin after sin after sin, then he stops right here as though this particular crime is the very worst the people of Israel had committed. They had reached the utter depths of their depravity by killing their own children. Why go any further? If we can’t see the hardness of their hearts with this terribly heinous act, there is nothing the psalmist could say that would convince us.