I am reading the book of Ezekiel and I read something a little different. The verse is in chapter 20. It is talking about the Israelite making sacrifices.
As a primer, the way the Israelites could be forgiven is from a blood sacrifice. Blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. The sacrifices made; however, weren’t enough to save the people. Instead, their salvation was through (and is through) faith.
In chapter 20:30, it says:
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord GOD says: Are you defiling yourselves the way your fathers did, q and prostituting yourselves with their detestable things? 31 When you offer your gifts, making your children pass through the fire, r you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.
The verse that rang out to me was 31. It is as if the people would make sacrifices in the hopes that they wouldn’t defile themselves. Like, “I will throw out all the cookies, and then I won’t break my diet.” It is saying ‘if I sacrifice my children, THEN I will stop defiling myself.”
Doesn’t work. Hasn’t worked for me really. I still do it. I think ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ I pray, I read. I DO. It isn’t bad to do those things, it’s bad to depend on them to do what only God can.
I realize I am trivializing human sacrifice. It’s not about that. It’s about the things we do to try to get into God’s favor and still continue in sin. I hope I can make that much clear.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Eze 20:30–31). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.