Blood Sacrifices From The Fall To Moses

God’s relationship to believers living between the time just after the fall of Adam and Eve to the time God gave the Mosaic Covenant at Mount Sinai was based on His grace and mercy.

Also note the Scriptures record frequently that God emphasised the importance of animal sacrifices during this period. These blood sacrifices themselves could not atone for the sin and guilt of humans (see Hebrews 10:4). They were instead a shadow of Jesus’ later death. God had already planned Christ's death before the foundation of the world, as 1 Peter 1:19-20 shows.

These pre-Mosaic Covenant blood sacrifices were the means through which God taught believers it is only on the basis of an innocent substitute dying that He will pardon or forgive human sins (see Hebrews 9:22) and they can enter a relationship with Him.

Noah is mentioned in Scripture as relating to God through blood sacrifice. Genesis 8:20-21 says: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma…” This verse shows God was very pleased with these blood sacrifices.

Genesis 12:1-8 records God made a covenant with Abraham, called him to leave his own country to go where God commanded and gave a revelation about his future Offspring – Jesus Christ. Verse 7 here reveals that in response to this God-given covenant, Abraham built an altar at Shechem in Canaan to sacrifice animals to the Lord.

Verse 8 shows Abraham later built another altar to the Lord between Bethel and Ai. In Genesis 13:3-4, we see Abraham later returned to the first altar that he had built and again called on the Name of the Lord. Genesis 13:18 records Abraham built another altar to the Lord at Hebron.

Genesis 15:1-10 expresses more aspects of God’s covenant with Abraham and how Abraham’s faith response resulted in God crediting righteousness to Him. Verse 9 reveals God commanded blood sacrifice in relation to this covenant. Genesis 22:7-8 indicates both Abraham and his son Isaac understood a lamb was a suitable blood sacrifice to God.

In Genesis 26:25, we see Isaac built an altar on which sacrifices to the Lord would be made. Genesis 35:1 records God commanded Jacob to make an altar to Him. Genesis 46:1-4 shows Jacob offered sacrifices to God.

There is debate about whether Job was a descendant of Abraham and whether he lived prior to or after the Mosaic Covenant began. But note Job 1:5 reveals Job sacrificed burnt offerings to God for each of his children’s sins. Job 42:8 shows God instructed Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar to sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams as burnt offerings to Him.

 

Saved through faith, not faith plus animal sacrifice

 

Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Job were saved by God’s grace through faith, not through faith and performing animal sacrifices to God. But God desired that one of the results of their faith would be the offering of blood sacrifices.

 

 

Bible Study Question

 

1.         Why did God instruct believers, who lived between the time of Adam and Eve to the time God gave the Mosaic Covenant, to make animal sacrifices?

 

 


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