Tag Archives: Genesis

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

Are Rocks Clocks: Support for Millions and Billions of Years? Installement IV

Dear hijas,

Many professing Christians today, erroneously take a view of the early chapters of Genesis as untrue history. They mistakenly view these early chapters as akin to believing in a fairy tale. Not realizing that Christ and His apostles affirmed the true account of creation and human history in a 6×24 manner, they choose instead to embrace the secular history beloved by atheists and God-haters. This to an undermining of the gospel and to their shame.

Forgetting Christ’s warning to beware of following the crowd (Matt.7:13), they choose instead to sacrifice the Word of God on the altar of man’s ‘scientific knowledge’. Their justification for holding this demonstrably anti-biblical view is that science has supposedly shown the millions and billions of years of secular history to be true as played out in the rocks. Now granted, many of them just don’t know any better, haven’t studied the Scriptures in depth, or haven’t understood and studied the relationships between and upon which the Church and Christendom have stood for millennia. They haven’t understood the philosophical assumptions of the secularists, nor have they investigated the contrary evidence.

You see, the great doctrines of Scripture all tie in together. The doctrine of Creation ties in to the doctrine of Christ and His work. Our doctrine of sin ties back to our doctrine of Adam as an historical man in an historical setting as described in Genesis. There’s a consistency and coherence where if you remove or change one doctrine, the others start to unravel. So how did we get to where we are today?

As Dr. John K. Reed in Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale explains ‘Western history emphasizes chronology. It’s the way we think about the past…If our chronology is wrong, then history is little more than mythology.’ ‘Why is chronology so important, he asks? Reed says that our history in the West is the result of our Christian roots and are truths of God’s works in the past as important reminders of His power and glory. ‘In short’, he says, the Bible presents a view of time–important, intelligible, and linear–that is crucial to a view of history as a vital and comprehensive part of reality.’ So if Biblical chronology and the account of a 6×24 Creation and its timeline of history was believed for the most part by a majority of the Church up until the last few centuries, what changed?

The change, Reed says, was how geologic history came to play an important role in Western culture and our view of history. The change in how we viewed the rocks of the earth’s crust as a result of philosophical and intellectual trends during the Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th centuries is where we must go to see what happened.

He continues,

Historians have shown that science was the child of Christianity, not Enlightenment secularism. In fact, science grew out of the medieval Scholastic tradition…Geologic history, with its millions and billions of years, is closely linked to Englightenment secularism…For many years, secularism hid behind a fa├žade of science. An overly-optimistic assessment of science’s ability to determine truth deflected questions about the underlying worldview. But times have changed. It has become clear that secular faith (emphasis mine) was part of the equation all along. That is a reason to take a long, hard look at how geologic history came to play such a powerful role in society.

Did you catch that? There is a ‘faith’ element involved here. There’s also a ‘worldview’ element involved. Worldviews require philosophical assumptions. Philosophical assumptions are based on one’s metaphysic (theory of being and existence), one’s epistemology (method of knowing), one’s ethics and morality. Now we’re getting somewhere mis hijas. If only our professing Christian friends described above could see and understand this. Secular geologic history with its millions and billions of years originated during the Enlightenment as a ‘faith’ project. It wasn’t science, it was a worldview, and an anti-God and anti-Biblical worldview at that.

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas