Leviticus 20:1-8

Key Verse(s):

Leviticus 20:3 (HCSB)

3 I will turn against that man and cut him off from his people, because he gave his offspring to Molech, defiling My sanctuary and profaning My holy name.


This relatively short, but intense, pericope is concerned primarily with the sacrifice of children to the false god Molech. Molech was apparently an Ammonite god. It would make sense that God would so strongly address this pagan practice in order to guide the Israelites to avoid associating with the Ammonites, and this detestable practice, now that they are being delivered into the Promised Land.

Despite this horrific act, and it’s obviously inherent evil, notice in Lev 20:3 what the real issue is. Yes, giving offspring to Molech is bad, but it would seem the real issue is that the act of doing so “defiles God’s sanctuary” and “profanes God’s name”. Evil practices, sin, is against God, and is detestable. And the punishment is severe for such a severe sin: death. And God uses His people to execute the judgement.

And, what is even more interesting, is if the people do not follow through and execute the offender, then God’s punishment is extended to the offender’s family as well, and those that “follow him”. Perhaps this means those that decided not to stone him in the first place? However far that extends, we see that refusing to address sin, and failure to follow God’s leadership and instruction, results in a broader circle of impact. We might want to take note of this principle in our own lives.

Finally, the pericope ends with the inclusion of those seeking “mediums or spiritists”. It seems to me this would be things like witches, psychics, those who communicate with the dead or demons, generally anyone who embraces and practices mystical or dark arts, or magic (not illusion like in entertainment, but actual magic where one attempts to tap into some mystical energy or power, or control it, in order to impact the world). It is easy to simply disregard these things as fanciful, superstitious, or just as crackpot nonsense, but it would seem God’s word says we should do otherwise, and treat them very seriously. Apparently seriously enough to be listed right after child sacrifice!

God has “set us apart”. He expects us to look different, and we should. We must be careful not to be influenced and swayed by the dark in the world, but to remain pure and righteous, constantly seeking Christ and being renewed by Him.


Lord, thank You for showing us the right way, Your way, and setting us apart from the world. I pray that I am never so darkened that I would contemplate something so vile and evil as what is described in this passage. But I know that I already do struggle with other dark and evil sin, since it is all dark and evil, and I ask for deliverance from it. Amen.


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