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By Frank and Mary Hoffman - 18 Mar 2012

In Reference to: 18 March 2012 - Why Should People Abstain From Flesh Foods?

Dear Dana:
The subject of the origin of sacrificial offerings is not as clear cut, as we would like to see in the Bible. We need to remember that the Hebrew Bible was not put together until Ezra and his fellow priests did it in c.400 BCE. Before that it was a collection of tablets, scrolls, and oral traditions. Here's some of what we do know:
Noah sacrificed some of the animals after the flood, without God requesting it, and while God apparently accepted his or their repentance, He also commented that mankind's heart was evil from his youth. (Genesis 8:21) We personally believe that it was because they killed some of the animals.
Abraham also sacrificed animals without God asking him to do so. But in Genesis 15:6 we are plainly told that God considered Abraham to be righteous simply because of his faith, which is forgiveness without sacrifice.
There are a lot more examples, but it is clearly seen that God's intent was not to have any death or eating of animals, so something is being misinterpreted when it comes to the offering animal sacrifices. They all seem to be at best a limiting of the cruel raising and killing of animals following the flood, until the people came whole-heartedly back to God, part of which we discussed in today's sermon. God always wanted obedience instead of sacrifice.
We hope this helps, and please let us know if you have other questions or comments.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary