Generation Cedar

Yesterday as I was reading Psalm 106 to my children, a passage hit me with relevance like a ton of bricks. I debated about this post, because I KNOW it will make many of you angry…and that is not the desire of my heart. However, my burden to speak what is on my heart is greater than my fear of others. I am compelled to speak what I believe is truth; I can relate to some of the prophets of the Old Testament who had a message to speak to a culture that did not want to hear. Nevertheless, they spoke.

Psalm 106 recounts how the Children of Israel (the people of God) so quickly forgot God’s miraculous provision for them through their deliverance from Egypt. The story of the children of Israel is often used as a parallel for Christians even today, as we so easily forget God’s mercy and provision. We would do well to look closely at them and assess our hearts accordingly.

As I was reading through the chapter, these verses grabbed my heart

“They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan…Therefore the Lord was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power.” (Ps. 106:34-42)

We read these verses and say “How horrible! What parent could sacrifice his own child!” And yes, I’m going to submit that we are in the habit of sacrificing our own children. Not in a literal sense, shedding blood, but sacrificing their care, their lives and souls, for the idols of our day.

I asked my children after we read those verses, “What would make parents sacrifice their own children? How could their hearts be so hardened? There had to be something very strong causing them to commit such sin.” And the answers we came up with all pointed back to selfishness. Those parents believed the gods would give them something in return for the blood of their children…wealth, health–some benefit so great they were willing to give up their sons and daughters. Selfishness.

What do we do? Mom and Dad learn they are expecting a little one. They joyfully anticipate her arrival. But before she is even born, they have convinced themselves that there is no way mom can raise this child. (They have car payments, house payments, and all other sorts of payments to support their lifestyle.) They must find someone else to give her the majority of the care she will need. Another culture unfamiliar with this practice would wince at such “sacrifice.”

To be given a child that desperately needs her mother’s tender affection and touch and care, and then to hand this precious little infant over to someone else, sometimes a stranger, and entrust her to that person for the biggest part of the day, is an act only possible through the strong delusions of Satan and his tantalizing “idols”. And we do it rather flippantly. We sacrifice our children for the “things” in our lives that we refuse to give up.

And to soothe our tension, we’re even convinced we “do it for our children”. We want to be able to give them “what they deserve”, when all they want is you–your time, your love and your presence. Move to a smaller house? That’s silly. Get rid of our new cars and be content with a used one? Absurd. Scale back our vacations? Our entertainment? Stop shopping at department stores? Cook from scratch? Let God handle providing for our family’s needs? Quit worrying about “how we’re going to pay for college?” Give up my “fulfillment” at work? We just can’t do it.

Just like the previous blog I wrote regarding women leaving their children behind, there are always a few–a VERY few, circumstances that do not fit under this category. There are situations where perhaps, a mother, for a brief time needs to work. I’m not even addressing her. But I’ve seen the scenario of the other kind played out too many times.

Women who will traipse off to work, leaving behind a 6-week old infant, often because it’s just the thing to do. I mean, who wants to sit at home with their kids all day? Sacrifice will be a part of our lives. But what and who we are willing to sacrifice remains a question to which we must all give an answer.

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2 Responses

  1. AMEN and AMEN!

    I tried to think of something clever to say…but you’ve said it all well enough!

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