In Ezekiel 16 the Lord gives a very stinging rebuke to Judah. In this chapter the Lord shows how he blessed his wife (Judah) and caused her to prosper. Instead of using these things to enjoy a loving relationship with her husband she instead went after other lovers. Verses 20-21 may be most shocking of all the indictments:
And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?
These children are the ones born to covenant Israelites. They were to have been brought up in the knowledge and fear of the Lord, they were supposed to have reflected the Father’s image. But instead the Israelites actually sacrificed their own children for the worship of other gods.
It could be possible that this is only a metaphor for the Israelites dedicating their children to the gods of Babylon instead of to YHWH. That is possible. Or it could mean that they actually burned their own children as an offering to pagan gods. This is what Manasseh did (2 Kings 21:6).
Now, I want to be careful here in how I apply this verse. I do not want to overextend it and try to make this text say something that it is not intended to teach. But I do think we should ask ourselves if we have a Manasseh type of heart with our own children.
Is it possible that rather than dedicating our children to the Lord we are raising our children to bow to the counterfeit gods of our culture? We may not be surrendering them to flames but are we fighting for their souls?
I must remember that the LORD has given Nikki and I children not only for our own enjoyment but primarily for His glory. Isaiah is a very gifted little boy. I know that I am biased, but I can see in him some really awesome talents. I think he is going to be a great musician someday. So it is our responsibility to raise him in such a way that his musical talent is spent for the glory of God. We would be no better than Manasseh if we allowed Isaiah to settle for the counterfeit god of success, fame, and money. May we strive to a better end. (Obviously, the same thing goes for Hannah).
And it is also possible that Isaiah will not have musical talent, he won’t be able to throw a baseball, he’ll never enjoy reading Puritans, he won’t be called to preach, and he’ll never get married and have children. And neither will his sister. Those aren’t tragedies. The only tragedy would be if their lives are surrendered to the flames of a lesser god.
May the LORD constantly stir the heart of Nikki and I to fight for Isaiah and Hannah’s souls.