History of Redemption: Blog Post 12

They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. - Psalm 106:37 (NASB); Psalm 106:38 (ESV)

These words are dark and painful.  To read them, and ponder how anyone could every sacrifice their child to a demon, causes me to mourn.  It causes my heart to break, to think about innocent children dying because of the misplaced worship of their parents.  I say to myself, “thank God we do not live in an age when people sacrifice their sons and their daughters to the demons”.  And then God reminds me, that these words were written for me.  I am reminded of evenings when I have chosen to work late rather than come home to tuck my children in to bed and kiss them goodnight, and to remind them of how much Jesus loves them. Am I not doing the same thing?  Am I not sacrificing my sons and daughters to the demon that money has become in my life?  Am I not worshipping all the idols that money will buy for me, that I will then set up as altars in my home, while my children are standing by watching me, learning from me, and perishing because of me?  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).  God have mercy on my soul.

We are surrounded by a culture and a people who do exactly this, everyday.  We are a people who worship money, career, cars, houses, sex, reputation, our golf scores, and many more false idols.  We sacrifice our sons and daughters to these demons, as we work tirelessly to satisfy the demands that they place upon us.  I think of all the families in which both father and mother work long hours, hoping that they may soon be rich, leaving their children at home alone, upon the sacrificial altar of self-idolatry.  Furthermore, we now live in a time when countless children are literally sacrificed every day before they are even born, under the guise of “freedom of choice”.  The following is a tweet by John Piper:

“A reader passed along this story from ScienceNews:

The remains of seven children apparently killed in a ritual, and buried beneath a 500- to 600-year-old building in Peru’s Cuzco Valley have given scientists new glimpses of the sketchily understood Inca practice of sacrificing select children in elaborate ceremonies.

The children were buried at the same time, apparently after having been killed in a sacrificial rite that honored Inca deities and promoted political unity across the far-flung empire, say anthropologist Valerie Andrushko of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and her colleagues.

Chemical analyses of the bones indicate that at least two of the children came from distant parts of the Inca realm.

The findings lend credence to the accounts of Spanish conquistadors that described how children were selected for sacrifice from all across the empire, based on their physical perfection. We shudder at such brutal backwardness.

Today, using prenatal screening, we scour the empire for children with physical imperfections and sacrifice them to ourselves.” (First Things, “While We’re at It”, January 2011, 68)

As I meditate on the “innocent blood” pouring out of these sons and daughters, I remember the only truly innocent blood that has ever been poured out, the blood of God’s Son Jesus Christ.  I remember the blood that He poured out upon the cross, as the great and final sacrifice for us who have placed our hope in Him.  I am raised up from despair to hope, as I remember that I have been set free from all of my sins, past, present and future, because God was willing to sacrifice His only Son upon the sacrificial altar of His justice.  God’s justice demanded payment for all of my sins and trespasses, and for all the times when my heart has worshipped demons by pouring out the blood of my children.  So God, in His steadfast love for us, entered into human history, and took on flesh.  He “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant ... he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).   And now, I am set free from all of my sins.  And I am not only set free, but I am made a new creation.  My identity is in Jesus Christ and in His atoning work upon the cross.  And my worship is now restored to it’s proper place, upon the only God, who created, who redeems, and who restores His people, for His glory.

My God, my heart is bursting with love for You, as I think about the sacrifice that You have made for my iniquity.  I deserve hell, and You have given me heaven.  Please forgive me for my wickedness.  “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).  But You are a merciful and loving God, who has not abandoned us, but who has saved us, by the blood of Your innocent Son, Jesus Christ, shed for us who trust in You.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)