For all the talk about sacrifice in the Bible and how it’s the blood of something that soothes God’s wrath, there are other passages that undermine that whole thought process. There are other descriptions of God that will unravel your thoughts and understanding of God.
For Example, take a look at Psalms 50. Read through it and then we’ll point out a few things.
Don’t forget to keep in mind that this is supposed to be God talking.
“Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
Did you catch all that?
So let’s start with this ….
God claims Israel as his own, he speaks of being the one to testify against them, then he says he has no charges against them concerning their sacrifices.
The God who is supposed to judge and condemn does not judge or condemn.
Which becomes all the more fascinating when you look at vs 8 and 9 and he says you keep bringing me this stuff that I don’t need, like bulls and goats that you’ve killed.
It seems that God’s people are getting the whole thing wrong and even though they’ve got the whole thing wrong God still brings no charges against them.
The Second thing…
God seems to take pride and ownership in and over all things living.
He says every animal, the cattle, the birds, and the insects all belong to him. Also if you look at the geographic locations that are all mentioned, he talks about hills, mountains, forests, and fields.
This is God’s way of saying everything actually belongs to him.
Which is also God’s way of saying why do you keep bringing me stuff that’s already mine?
My wife’s birthday was a couple weeks ago and my 6 yr old daughter wanted to give her mom a special present. Which is very sweet to watch her think all this through. After a few minutes going through the toy box and some other places around the house, she brought me a bag of stuff that she wanted to give her mom.
The list is as follows…
2 rubber bands for her hair.
2 toy cars that belonged to her brothers.
A hairbrush that was already moms.
A bottle of mom’s lotion.
I said, “Darling, that is very sweet and thoughtful….. but most of these things already belong to mommy, maybe we should go to the store and pick something out for her.”
If we had given these gifts to my wife I know without a shadow of a doubt that she would have opened them with great delight and pretend to be surprised and loved our daughter for the thought and effort because she’s a great mom.
The reality is that if left to her own abilities my daughter at this age can never really give her parents anything that doesn’t already belong to us. And that’s ok. Cause ultimately we don’t care about the stuff, what we want from her is the relationship.
It’s cute that she’s trying.
It’s cute that you think you’re giving God something that he doesn’t have or something that he needs or something that didn’t first originate from him.
God says if I did need something I wouldn’t tell you.
How great is that? It’s funny because it highlights just how crazy arrogant we as humans are.
I hate to keep using my kids for all these illustrations but it’s the best correlation.
I don’t go to my 4-year-old son if I’m having money or marriage problems.
“Hey buddy, daddy needs a loan, think you can help me out?”
Last but not least…
In Verse 13 God says – Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
This is so great.
This is God saying “What kind of God do you think I am?”
This is God saying “ummmm, are you for real with this?”
This is God saying “ Do you really think I need to consume animals and drink their blood?”
This passage confronts our understanding of the meaning and purpose of the sacrificial system.
It should also confront our understanding of the nature of God.
If God says he doesn’t need blood and flesh to appease him then how are we to understand the other things in the Bible that seem to demand flesh and blood?
This leaves us with a couple glaring questions slash thoughts.
What do you do with a God who you thought demanded certain things and then you discovered that he doesn’t demand certain things?
What do you do with a God who you thought was supposed to Judge and condemn for doing things wrong and then he doesn’t?
What do you do with a God who says the whole earth and all of creation is mine and you don’t really need to be dropping dead animals on my front porch like a stray cat?