Friday, February 23, 2007

God wants blood and death?

Genesis 4:1-8 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.


PERSONAL COMMENTARY

...and so begins the slaughtering of animals as offerings to appease God. This is a huge question with large implications but, way in the back of your mind, does this ever bother you? Why does God need animals to be killed and sacrificed in order to appease him. He makes the rules. He could have easily chosen to accept Cain's offering here. Why didn't he in the first place?

4 comments:

jason said...

Abut Cain:
1 John 3:12 "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

About animals:
Exd 29:18 "And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD."

Eph 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."

In the big picture, sacrificing animals ultimately pointed forward to the sacrifice of Christ. In the small picture, sacrifices were never about God. It was about testing the willingness of man to follow the rules and the willingness of man to put God first, two things people have always had trouble with.

Roopster said...

Jason,

I love these 2 statements made by Jesus:

"Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do." - Jesus (Matthew 15:10,11)

"Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to be merciful; I don't want your sacrifices.' - Jesus (Matthew 9:13)


To me it's about the heart and it's always been about the heart. That's what God wants. He wants us to be compassionate, and kind, and merciful.

Why all the laws about what to eat and what not to eat? Why all the sacrificing of doves, lambs, and a variety of other animals with long list of rules attached to it. What did that really accomplish in the grand scheme of the message of Christ? I know you said it's about obeying God. Well he could have easily made other rules to follow. He's God.

I know your point as to pointing to Christ but to me that could have been accomplished by other means. I've always really struggled to see what all the slaughter and blood in the temple accomplished?

Anonymous said...

As Jason said, it point to Christ being the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

Jason said...

Further to Anon's point, the commandments of the OT cannot be compared to the commandments of the NT. They're night and day. One highlights obedience, the other highlights faith.

Secondly, if God had made other rules other then offering sacrifices, the same questions would still be asked: Why? God's rules are God's rules. That's just the way it is :)