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The Shedding of Animal and Human Blood

in the Old Testament

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 17, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. The 3rd through 5th grade students
    1. training for Leadership Training for Christ
    2. have a question about why God ordered
      1. the deaths of animals and people in First Samuel.
      2. This sermon is for them, but I have made it for us adults as well.
  2. From Adam’s sin to the death of Christ,
    1. we can read Books of the Bible,
    2. such as First Samuel and
      1. find animals and people dying
      2. by God’s command.
  3. Why would God command the deaths of animals and people?
    1. Truly, He even allows, but does not command, the killing of animals now and
    2. He still demands the death of certain people.


  1. The Shedding of Animal Blood
    1. God provided the shedding of animal blood for man for three reasons.
    2. First, as food for man.
      1. Genesis 1 shows that in the beginning when God created man,
      2. He provided for man’s food from the plants of the earth,

        29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so (Genesis 1.29–30).
      3. However, Genesis 9 shows that after God destroyed the world
        1. with the Flood of Noah,
        2. He then provided for man’s food from the animals also,

          3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9.3–4).
      4. It was also after the Flood
        1. that God demanded man’s blood,
        2. for a reason that I will show in a little while.
      5. However, my point for now is
        1. that God has never taken away that permission to eat animals.
        2. In fact, the Levitical priests were required to eat some of the sacrifices.
          1. Today, many animals die daily
          2. both at the hands of man and at the claws and jaws of animals.
            1. Yet, almost no one says anything about it,
            2. especially when animals kill one another.
    3. Second, as clothing for man.
      1. Genesis 3 shows that God provided for man’s clothing from animals.
      2. Therefore, from the beginning God had animals die for man.
        1. When Adam and Eve sinned, and
        2. they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves,
          1. God did a better job of covering them with animal skins,
          2. implying that He took the lives of some animals and
            1. clothed Adam and Eve
            2. with the animal skins,

              7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings (Genesis 3.7).

              21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them (Genesis 3.21).

    4. Third, as salvation for man.
      1. God provided the shedding of animal blood
      2. from the time of Adam to the time of Christ
        1. for man’s sin, because
        2. the wages of sin is death (Rom 6.23).
          1. However, God desires to save man from death,
          2. in particular spiritual death,
          3. which is separation from Him.
    5. When man sinned,
      1. God desired to show him mercy.
      2. The New Testament, in Hebrews 9, affirms
        1. that without the shedding of blood,
        2. there is no remission of sins,

          And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9.22).

          1. Therefore, the Lord set up the Levitical sacrificial system.
          2. And it is why Jesus died for our sins.
      3. Hebrews 10 makes the argument
        1. that since Jesus sacrificed Himself,
        2. we need no more sacrifices for sin,

          11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin (Hebrews 10.11–18).

          1. For this reason, God no longer commands the death of animals.
          2. Jesus did what no animal could ever do.
  2. The Shedding of Human Blood
    1. Genesis 9 shows that sometimes some people give up their right to live.
      1. I said earlier that I would cover this point that after the Flood,
      2. God demanded the blood of certain people.
        1. However, we have to understand why God made this command.
        2. Genesis 6 shows what God saw on the earth and
          1. what He saw moved Him to do two things:
            1. One, He destroyed almost the entire population of the earth.
            2. Two, He created a new law to prevent this problem from overcoming the world again.
          2. Genesis 6 shows what God saw in the minds of the people,

            5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6.5–7).
          3. Then the Bible shows the actions of their thoughts,

            11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6.11–13).
      3. After the Flood, therefore, God put in a new law,

        5 “Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

        6 Whoever sheds man’s blood,
        By man his blood shall be shed;
        For in the image of God
        He made man.”

        (Genesis 9.5–6)

      4. From Noah till now God has ordered the death penalty.
        1. Exodus 21 shows that God ordered it in the Law of Moses.
          1. This passage make clear what He wanted and
          2. it would be for the reason stated in Genesis 9,

            “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21.12).

            1. The sentences that follow explain the difference between
            2. manslaughter and premeditation.
        2. Romans 13 also shows God orders it during the Christian age, but
          1. the church does not carry it out,
          2. rather He set up government to execute evil-doers,

            For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (Romans 13.4).
    2. Sometimes a group of people give up their right to continue their existence.
      1. For this reason, the Lord brought Israel into the Land of Canaan.
        1. He had given the Canaanites hundreds of years to repent, but
        2. they persisted in their sin.
          1. Generation after generation committed horrible sins,
          2. such as burning their children to the god Molech.
            1. God could see that no new generation would arise
            2. that would turn to righteousness.
              1. Therefore, it was time for the Canaanites and
              2. all their sub-groups to disappear from the earth.
      2. The same thing held true with the Amalekites in the Book of First Samuel.
        1. Exodus 17 records a war that Israel had with Amalek.
        2. After Joshua led Israel to victory over Amalek,
          1. the Lord wanted Moses to write down something and
          2. Moses added more information about Amalek,

            14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The–LORD–Is–My–Banner; 16 for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Exodus 17.14–16).

            1. It was not only over the confrontation during the wanderings.
            2. Amalek embraced ungodliness generation after generation.
              1. They would not change.
              2. They fought the Lord and His people Israel endlessly.
        3. Therefore, Amalek needed removal from the earth.
          1. They had polluted earth with their endless sins.
          2. And so the Lord used a graphic picture
            1. to show how the land responded to these wicked peoples,

              “For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18.25).
            2. The Lord continued and warned Israel,

              “…lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you” (Leviticus 18.28).
      3. Israel did not learn and
        1. they did what the Canaanites and the Amalekites did,
        2. in fact, Israel did worse than those nations.
          1. For that the Lord sent many nations against Israel,
          2. finally He removed Israel from the land,
            1. sparing only a few, because
            2. of His promises to Abraham and David,
              1. that through Abraham God would bless all the families of the earth and
              2. that through David God would crown the Messiah.
    3. God does whatever it takes to get our attention.
      1. He does whatever moves us to repent.
      2. However, sometimes the severest of punishments do not turn people.
        1. Genesis 19 shows the men of Sodom
        2. so bent on having Lot’s visitors and doing evil things to them,
          1. that the visitors, angels, struck the Sodomites with blindness, but
          2. amazingly that did not stop them,

            And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door (Genesis 19.11).
        3. Revelation 6 shows the blowing of the sixth trumpet by an angel.
          1. This releases other angels to destroy one third of mankind.
          2. John said that he saw horses, but
            1. notice the mouths of the horses, and
            2. that it does not change the wicked or move them to repent,

              17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. 20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts (Revelation 9.17–21).
      3. My point in showing you Genesis 19 and Revelation 9
        1. is that a people, nation, tribe, or language
        2. can so fill themselves up with sin
          1. that they will not repent and
          2. that they teach their children from an early age
            1. to live the sin of their parents.
            2. The Lord then has to remove them from the earth.
      4. Like Israel and Judah, they reach the point of no remedy:

        But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy (2 Chronicles 36.16).

        He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
        Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
        (Proverbs 29.1)


  1. God created us.
    1. He has every right to expect us to live as He teaches and commands.
    2. If we fail to live that way, He can remove us from His system.
  2. Now let us ask: Why did Jesus die?
    1. Why did the Father turn His Son over to brutal and cruel men?
    2. Why do people not ask that question?
      1. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1Jo 1.5).
      2. When we sin,
        1. we bring darkness into His world and into our lives.
        2. He has to remove the darkness.
          1. He does it through wrath or
          2. He does it through forgiveness.
    3. Which one shall you choose?