In order to understand the idea of sacrifices and offerings, we must go back to the very beginning of the Bible. By Genesis 4, the first sons, Cain and Abel, were practicing an early form of sacrifice: “Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD. Abel also brought some choice parts of the firstborn animals from his flock. The LORD approved of Abel and his offering, but he didn’t approved of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed” (Gen 4:3-5). From the beginning, offerings and sacrifices generally expressed two attitudes: gratitude and repentance. In the case of Cain and Abel, later history of sacrifice might lead us to think that God’s rejection of Cain’s offering was because it wasn’t a blood sacrifice, but the text doesn’t indicate such a conclusion. Cain’s offering was casual and perhaps careless; Abel’s was costly. Cain brought “some crops”; Abel presented “some choice parts.” Cain’s response to God’s correction revealed his heart. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SACRIFICE/OFFERING)
To kill an innocent animal seems quite cruel. Our modern sensibilities are often by this requirement. But the lesson is this: Sin is serious! It offends a holy God. Human behavior bears consequences for all of creation. Continue reading ANIMAL SACRIFICE SEEMS BARBARIC AND PRIMITIVIE. WHY WOULD GOD REQUIRE SUCH AN UNPLEASANT RELIGIOUS EXERICSE?
Judea Capta-“Judea is captured”-read the the coins minted by the Romans in commemoration of their victory 70. Thousands of Jews died in battle; thousands more were taken into slavery; many others chose to leave the country center of worship, the temple, was burned to the ground and the and the capital of Judaism had fallen. Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (WHEN SACRIFICE STOPPED)
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)
In scientific terms, yeast is a fungus that ferments carbohydrates and makes dough rise. It is a key ingredient in the making of bread, beer, wine, and spirits. Leavened bread is present in most cultures from prehistoric times onward, including that of the Israelites. That is why Moses’ instruction to leave yeast out of their bread in preparation for the exodus seemed notable and became part of the remembrance celebration of the Passover. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)