“If you walk contrary to me, and will not hearken to me, . . . you shall eat the flesh of your sons and of your daughters.”
God is not telling the Israelites this to say it is good, but in fact He is warning them of what will happen if they continue to transgress in their sins, especially of turning away from Him for idols. This is because a different god means different rules and different rules means different outcomes.
The narrative is used in a way in which it warns that our beliefs and actions do have consequences in the real world. Because the Israelites rejected God who forbade cannibalism and child sacrifices for example, they rejected God’s teachings on such issues. In addition they became friendly with their pagan neighbors who eventually conquered them. So the Israelites did have free will to either obey God’s covenant and prosper or reject it and suffer. By prosper and suffer I don’t mean just agriculturally and economically but also spiritually and morally.
Look where we are now as the Western society: the individual is more important than the community. We as a culture have lost our faith in God and fidelity to His Church and so now we suffer spiritually and morally; in some instances we suffer economically. As long as we as a culture reject faith in the one same God and fidelity to His Church we will continue to differ greatly in regards to social issues like abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, nuclear weapons, homosexuality, adultery, polygamy, etc.
As Christians, myself included, we have emphasized the political aspect of social issues with a lack of the spiritual aspect. We can’t expect for a country to all of a sudden to stop endorsing abortion and the homosexual lifestyle for example; this is because of the plurality of ideologies which clash with each other. This plurality of ideologies exists because of original sin and original sin shall exist until the day of judgment which means divisions shall continue until then and since personal sin is the result of having original sin there will be personal sin until then. This is why Saint Paul mentioned, “And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things” and so “God gave them up to the desires of their heart” (Romans 1:23-24).
The other issue is that we as Christians have largely forgotten the personal responsibility of making “disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. Matthew 28:19). We expect public officials too much to solve the problems for us. Even if elected it’s not a guarantee they can entirely fix the problem especially in a complex system of politics and so we can democratically take it to our advantage to speak out and evangelize to people in the hopes they shall accept God and His Church as Christ said, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me” (Luke 10:16). To not evangelize is to commit the deadly sin of sloth which refers most particularly to spiritual laziness. By evangelize I’m not saying it narrowly means to go door-to-door like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, but it also means telling friends, family and colleagues about the faith. Let’s stop being afraid of being Christians.