Category Archives: Scripture Application

Offering Unacceptable Sacrifice

Dear hijas,
Have you ever wondered why Cain’s sacrifice of the fruit of the ground in Genesis 4 was unacceptable to God, and Abel’s sacrifice of the firstlings of his flock and their fat portions was? “I mean, wow, God, since Cain was a tiller of the ground (Gen. 4.2), why did you reject his hard work at producing a good crop from the ground and only accept Abel’s”? “That seems totally unfair, Cain wasn’t a keeper of flocks like his brother Abel, but shouldn’t his hard work of watering and tending and careful grooming of the fruit of the ground be enough”? “Why was this not acceptable’?

Well, the answer lies in what happened in Genesis 3 and the Fall of Adam and Eve. What do we see God do after he confronted Adam and Eve with their sin in Genesis 3? Genesis 3:21 tells us that “the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them”.

adam_and_eve

And how did God get those animal skins? “Poof, there it is”? No, the logical inference is that God killed the animal or animals and clothed Adam and Eve with their skins. You see, we have to remember what was going on here. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which God commanded them not to eat. They felt ashamed that they were naked and clothed themselves by sewing fig leaves together. God confronted the man and woman in the Garden. He got confessions from Adam and Eve. The man blamed the woman and the woman blamed the Serpent, both of them unwilling to take responsibility for what they have done. God curses the Serpent above all ‘other’ beasts and between his seed and the woman’s seed, the woman in childbearing, and the ground that the man would have to toil and work in by the sweat of his brow to produce the plants and bread he would eat.

But God doesn’t leave them there in that sinful state, does He? He provides the way of atonement; a proper way back. That way of atonement required a sacrifice: the death of an animal. The animal’s death was a substitute for their penalty of sin. It was a stark reminder to Adam and Eve of the dire consequences of their disobedience. God Himself sets up the pattern for an acceptable sacrifice, for what is required to satisfy His holy justice. It required the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22). You can see this pattern repeated time and time again throughout the Old Testament. The sacrifice of animals as a guilt offering (Lev. 5 & 6), the sprinkling and pouring out of the blood on the horns and base of the altar in the tent of meeting (Lev. 3 & 4), the bull, the sheep, the goats, the turtledoves and pidgeons (Lev. 1), were all required for the remission of sin. A sacrificial victim is slain, their penalty is paid, and they are covered by the blood of the substitute.

And when we come to the New Testament, Christ Himself, fulfilled this law of atonement by shedding His own blood, sacrificing Himself, and offering His own body on the Cross as the substitute.

So, how does this relate to Cain and Abel? In this mis hijas; God showed Adam and Eve the proper way to approach Him now that sin was in the world. Fig leaves as coverings weren’t enough and was not the proper way. It required a sacrifice; the death of an animal and the shedding of blood. Adam and Eve passed this knowledge on to their sons. Abel followed the proper way of an acceptable sacrifice, Cain did not. Cain knew what was acceptable to God, but chose to think his way of the fruit of the ground would be “good enough”. Notice God’s communication with Cain in Genesis 4: 4-7, especially verse 7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up”? ‘Doing well’ meant the proper and acceptable way of sacrifice; an animal sacrifice and the shedding of blood.

The lesson for Cain was that he couldn’t approach God through whatever he himself thought was worthy. There was only one proper way to do this and it wasn’t through an offering of the fruit of the ground. It required an animal sacrifice and the shedding of blood. The lesson for us living after the once for all sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is the same. Christ paid the price, He is our substitute, and we only approach God through Him.

With love,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

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The Water that Springs Up to Eternal Life

From the Days of Praise booklet of daily bible readings and devotional commentaries by the Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, 2012:

A Spring of Water

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)

Water is necessary for life, and no one can live for long without it. Jesus, when talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, used this simple and well-known fact to teach timeless truth, both to her and to us.  The two occurrences of the word “drinketh” in today’s verse are actually in two different forms. The construction used in Greek implies a continual, habitual drinking in the first case, but a one-time action in the second.

Likewise, while the woman referred to a “well” (v. 12) (literally “a hole in the ground”), Christ referred to a “flowing well,” or “spring,” using a different word.
Furthermore, when He said one who drinks from His spring shall “never thirst,” He said so in a very emphatic way. Not only is “thirst” emphasized by the sentence structure, but it is compiled of two negatives preceding the verb “thirst,” which is further strengthened by the word “forever,” i.e., “shall not, shall not thirst, forever.”

One who drinks from the wells of the world will thirst again, for sinful pleasures never satisfy. But just a single drink from the springs of “living water” (4:10; 7:38) of which Christ spoke eliminates spiritual thirst forever.

That one drink is a drink of eternal life, and it becomes in the believer a veritable spring, inexhaustible in its quantity and unsurpassed in its quality. The water is, of course, a reference to the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus to minister to His followers in His absence. One day we’ll be with Him, and then, as well as now, He completely satisfies. JDM [Dr. John D. Morris of the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org),  and the ‘Days of Praise‘ booklet of daily bible readings and devotional commentaries for Dec. 21, 2012.]

Dear hijas,

This is a beautiful picture of the love that Christ shows to each of us, and in particular to this woman, of His offering of eternal life, by using an analogy of right where they were standing. Jesus was actually sitting at the well around noon (John 4:6), tired from his journey from Judea on the way to Galilee (having to pass through Samaria), when the woman came up to draw water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. He uses the analogy of ‘water’, and ‘drinking it’, and ‘thirst’, and of a ‘well’, to speak of the reason He came to earth and what He intends to offer to all. His water, is a one-time thing, from which once taken, one never has to drink again. 

Vaya con Dios mis hijas,

Dear ol’ Dad