Sacrificing Animals in Biblical Times

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Sacrificing Animals in Biblical Times
Comments by Susan - 6 Mar 2006

Greetings Rev. Hoffman,

I have been corresponding with Jan from the website, and she said you may have more insight on my question.

I have a question that I believe I have been letting hinder my relationship with God. I believe God loves animals, and they will be in Heaven with us. I became a vegetarian a couple of years ago as I began to develop a relationship with God. My only problem is understanding why God allowed/instructed humans to sacrifice before Christ Himself was sacrificed? If God loved them so much, why did He delight in their deaths? (And I say "delight" because after Noah got off the ark, he built an altar and presented a sacrifice, and the aroma was "pleasing to God".) How can the aroma from death be pleasing to God? This bothers me, and I am trying to understand a loving God when I read things like this in my Bible studies. I know death entered the world with the fall of Adam, and animals became hunter and prey, that I understand. But God actually authorizing their slaughter as a sacrifice to Him? Telling, I think it was Abram, to cut a couple animals in half and put their halves on the ground and God Himself walked between them as a covenant. I don't understand how He could expect the intentional death of any animal to be good?

Any info you can provide would be so helpful to me. I am just having a hard time with understanding this, and understanding a loving God when I read these stories in the Bible. From the little I could find on this, I know the sacrificial animals were loved and treated well, and the killing of them was done as painlessly as possible for the animal in that time. But still, it came down to killing to honor God? I don't understand.

Or should I just trust Him in what He did and try to forget it?

Thank you,

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