I attended an engaging seminar the other day on “The Archeology of the Bible.” It is a 14 week class and I am sure you will see more from this in the future. Below is the application I made in my own mind. I doubt I preach this, however I have been meditating on this for my own benefit and thought I would share a message I have been preaching to myself this evening.

A Tophet?

A Tophet is a cemetery erected for the purpose of burying the ash and bone remains of the children that were offered as a burnt sacrifice to Baal, Ashetroth and Molech. I had the opportunity to be in a course being taught by an archeologist who teaches at a Local Seminary. He showed us the slides of a Tophet they excavated in Carthage. He explained to us, that the Phoenician empire was made up of the people that inhabited the land area of Canaan. The religion practiced by the Canaanites was the same as those in Carthage. In this one cemetery they excavated a 20′ square and uncovered layer upon layer of cemeteries where children were buried. He estimated that the Original Cemetery was two football fields in size and that it was estimated that in a given year that 60-100,000 children were sacrificed a year. The Cemetery was in operation for 600 years. You do the math.

They did this to manipulate their Gods for favor and fertility. It is interesting that God knew these people and what kind of people they were and therefore warned Isreal, “Don’t do like they do, don’t sacrifice your children to demon gods!” In fact he told them to Killem all! We know from history that Israel assimilated these heathen and unspeakable practices to the point that they would worship Jehovah and Baal. In one hand they would carry the torah and the other a screaming child to be burned alive to appease some evil spirit. Scripture points out that the reason that God rejected the Jews and ejected them from their promise land is that they followed the heathen in this and many other things God expressly told them not to do.

Someone asked the question, have they found any Tophets in Israel? The teacher said, “The Bible says that Josiah destroyed completely the Tophets and at this point we have not found one.”

The thought is that false religion and it’s price always falls on the heads of the children. Iniquity in all of its power and weight is suffered through most significantly by the progeny of the righteous gone bad. While many have not tasted the dregs of sin and fail to appreciate the sheer evil of it’s depths, we can be guilty of dangling our children too close to the warmth that comes from a fire that can destroy them. Idle words, become thought patterns and a little allowance here becomes lifestyles of indifference. We see it all around us in our society and our churches, an indifference toward Goodness and a stretching for what is thought to be benign.

I am sure that when Israel first began to entertain the thoughts of Baal worship it was not placing their children over a belching pot of fire into the outstretched arms of a Brazen Baal. However little by little, slouching toward Sodom, the people of God became even more evil than the Philistines they were sent to eradicate. God being Righteous could not let his people get away with what he had judged another people for, so he judged them.

In the age of affluence, unprecedented technology and spare time what are we building? Memorials and Altars to the one true God or are we digging the graves of our own heritage by our homage to another god?

As the lines of acceptability have been pushed so far that everything is acceptable with little exception, where will we dwell; we that live in the Cities of the Plain. I think the Muslims may be a little right when they decry the iniquity of our entertainment. Would it not be interesting if God would use our enemies to bring us to a place of repentance? Seems this is the method he has used in the past. I love America and all the Virtues of our past and present. However it is concerning when we see the direction of our culture.

God help us to train up our children in the way they should go and engrain in their spirit that there is but One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. To drill in their spirit the things that will hold them in the storms of temptation that will come, that they will be able to not only survive but also thrive as torches of truth in the depths that the World is sure to plunge into greater darkness.

I pray for Wisdom to raise righteous men in an unrighteous world. To raise God fearing men in a fearless religious world. To raise up a generation that still has a memory of a praying father and mother. Their future depends on how I live my faith.

I am Building an Altar for my Children! Not to sacrifice them on, but to sacrifice myself for their preservation.

In Him, By Him, Through Him.

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