THE PEOPLE in Canaan engaged in what God called “abominable practices”: First, burning a child as an offering to Molech, followed by divination, reading omens, augury, sorcery, enchantment, consulting mediums, necromancy, and inquiring of the dead.
Derek argues in his forthcoming that these seven acts, which all involve contacting the spirit realm to gain influence or information, are connected to the worship of Molech, which was another name for the creator-god of the Canaanites El—also known as Dagon, Enlil, Kronos, and Saturn.
THE HARSHEST criticism of Israel we’ve encountered so far is the focus of this week’s study. God calls the people of Judah a prostitute — except that prostitutes get paid, and Judah, said God, had been whoring with other gods for free.
CONDEMNATION AND promise are the themes of Jeremiah’s prophecy against Judah in this week’s study. We discuss the coming punishment of the rebellious kingdom of Judah, which was just a few years away from being invaded by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, turning Jerusalem into a “lair of jackals” (or “dragons”), God’s decree that “the gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish,” and His promise that Judah and the nations of the earth would be restored if they turned back to Him.
We also review the significance of the Tophet Jeremiah mentioned in chapter 7 and its relevance to the gods allotted to the nations by Yahweh after the Tower of Babel incident (see Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and 4:19-20).
IT’S INTERESTING to note that these chapters of the Old Testament, which we often skim through when reading them alone, are so full of meaning that we’re spending more time on them than we have on some of the exciting chapters of Genesis and Exodus.
This week, we read and discuss God’s statutes for holiness relating to sexual immorality, contacting the supernatural realm, and child sacrifice. The Israelites haven’t entered Canaan yet, and already God is warning them to avoid worshipping the evil god of the Ammonites, Molech.