OK . . . . we are trying to read through the Bible this year as a family. It may take us a little more than a year because our children don’t always have the attention span for 3 or 4 chapters a night; but our goal is to make it all the way through in a chronological order.
So we’ve been reading Genesis. And I realized something I haven’t really ever thought about before. Well, I probably was taught it in Old Testament Survey class, but we zoomed through the Old Testament so quickly in that class I barely remember most of what I learned . . . . . except the huge timeline we made, Martha, and the adorable construction paper model of the Temple we created and the very forceful way Rev. Osterhaus said the word “vomit,” and singing the books of the OT to the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers. . . but I digress.
In Genesis 1:29-31, we learn that God gave Adam and Eve and all the animals plants and herbs to eat. And, in chapter 3, after the Fall, Adam had to work a lot harder to harvest his food, but Adam and Eve and the animals were all still vegetarians.
I also noticed that when Cain murdered Abel, God didn’t require Cain to die for his sin. The death penalty wasn’t in effect.
Then the world became more violent (Gen. 6:11) and “every intent of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5), and God destroyed all living things on the earth except for Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives, and all the animals God sent to the ark for safety. Then in Genesis 9, after the waters receded, God made His covenant with Noah. God told Noah that every beast and every bird and every fish and everything will fear and dread mankind because they will be given into man’s hand. God told Noah that every moving thing was now food, just like the green herbs were food. And then God gave the command about not eating blood. And then God established the death penalty.
So animals were not eaten as meat before the flood and the death penalty didn’t exist before the flood.
Most of you are probably saying, “Yeah, Duh, I knew that.” But I hadn’t thought about it before now. I would love your thoughts about why.