And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…
There is, perhaps, no development of sin which is more shocking to the renewed mind of man, and more offensive to the pine and gracious heart of God, than that which is here condemned. The verses intimate -
I. THAT SIN SOMETIMES LEADS TO A SHOCKING DISTORTION OF THE HUMAN JUDGMENT. How, we naturally ask, could men ever come to believe in the desirableness of such inhuman rites as those here prohibited? That any Divine Being could possibly be conciliated by the infliction of a cruel death, by the offering up of little children to consuming fires, by this presentation on the part of their own parents! How revolting and incredible seem such ideas! There is no account to be given of it but that sin, as it goes on its maleficent path, not only disfigures the life and corrupts the heart, but also degrades and distorts the understanding of men. It ends in the "evil eye" and so in the "great darkness" of the soul (Matthew 6:23).
II. THAT GOD CANNOT AND WILL NOT PERMIT THE GLORY WHICH IS DUE TO HIMSELF TO BE GIVEN TO ANOTHER. "I will set my face against that man" (verse 3). God has emphatically said, "My glory will I not, give to another" (Isaiah 42:8). The "face of the Lord is against" them that withhold their homage from the Creator, and offer worship and tribute to false gods. This,
(1) not on the selfish ground that he can claim and secure something for himself which he desires, after the manner of men, but
(2) on the ground that it is in itself right and fit that men should worship the one true God, and
(3) also because idolatry is not only a guilty but a mischievous principle working every imaginable harm to those who commit it. If we are keeping back from God and giving to another or to ourselves the thought, interest, affection, regard, which is due to him, we must remember that we make the Almighty our enemy; his "face is against us."
III. THAT DELIBERATE TRANSGRESSION MAKES ALL WORSHIP UNACCEPTABLE, IF NOT SINFUL. The man who, while flagrantly violating the Law of Jehovah by "giving his seed unto Molech," presented himself, at the same time, before the tabernacle, was only "defiling the sanctuary" of the Lord and "profaning his holy Name" (verse 3) by such worthless devotion. God did not desire to see in his presence a man who was willfully and wantonly committing such a heinous sin. No man is more welcome to the throne of grace than the penitent sinner who is burdened with a sense of guilt and who craves the mercy and help of the Divine Saviour. But let not that man who is cherishing sin in his soul think that his offering is accepted of the Lord. It is hypocrisy, profanation (see Psalm 1:16; Isaiah 1:11, 12).
IV. THAT UNREPENTED SIN MUST BEAR ITS DOOM. "He shall surely be put to death," etc. (verse 2); "I will cut him off from among his people" (verse 3). There is no provision here stated of mercy for the penitent. Probably none was allowed; the exigencies of the situation demanded death under any circumstances. Under the present dispensation there is an offer of Divine mercy to the penitent, whatever their sins may be, however many, however great. But the impenitent must lay their account with the fact that they have offended One who "will by no means clear the guilty," who will "surely" punish and destroy.
V. THAT CONNIVANCE AT DEADLY SIX IS A GUILTY PARTICIPATION IN WRONG, AND MUST SHARE ITS MISERABLE DOOM. (Verses 4, 5.) There are evils at which no friendship however dear, no kinship however close, may dare to wink. We must unsparingly denounce and even determinedly expose.
VI. THAT THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHURCH'S WELFARE MUST WARN-REPEATEDLY AGAINST THE MOST DANGEROUS SINS. Again, "Thou shalt say," etc. (verse 1). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,