Swearing to God by another god (Zephaniah 1:4-6)

"I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal
and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,
those who bow down on the roofs
to the host of the heavens,
those who bow down and swear to the LORD
and yet swear by Milcom,
those who have turned back from following the LORD,
who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him." - Zephaniah 1:4-6

Normally I try not to post on a passage of scripture this long, but the parts I wanted to pick out didn't make a whole lot of sense without the rest of the context.

This section in my ESV is titled "The Coming Judgement of Judah" and in speaking, the Lord doesn't hold a whole lot back. I'm particularly fascinated by the lines:

"Those who bow down and swear to the Lord
and yet swear by Milcom"

For some reason we talk about idolatry we think about forsaking God altogether and worship something else. Granted worshipping something else is forsaking God, but I think especially today we're less likely to make a conscious choice to give up on God and go serve money. Rather we worship the Lord on Sunday mornings, and money for the rest of the week (or whatever our idols are... money seems one of the most obvious).

Here the people are bowing down and swearing to the Lord. But then they're swearing by another God. Milcom (also known as Molech) is the national god of the Ammonites. By swearing on Milcom they're basically saying Milcom is more holy than the God of Israel. It even sounds like they make promises to God but on the basis of the name of Milcom!

We don't do a whole lot of swearing anymore - probably because we're told our yes should just mean yes and our no no. But back then it was common place to swear on something more sacred than yourself so that people would know you were really serious. This led to the whole discussion about swearing on the temple, and then the altar, and then the horns of the altar etc...

Basically they're saying to the Lord, "As surely as Milcom is a great god, I promise to you O God that I will do all I have promised you." How horribly blasphemous does it get? I hope in my life and the desires that lead my heart astray I can at least keep the Lord the center of my life and remember He is the most holy no matter how much my sin tempts me other ways.