Genesis 9:4-7 – “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 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. 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.” NKJV
This command was part of the first command given to Noah after the Flood. Have you ever wondered why God would command, Eat No Blood? We find a clue in Leviticus 17:11where the commandment against eating blood was, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” The emphasis was Eat No Blood because the life of the flesh resides in it and it is used for atonement.
Have you ever considered that the Bible declares that the “blood of Abel” cried from the ground calling for vengeance and the violence and corruption of mankind brought about the flood in Noah’s day? If God did not spare judgment in Noah’s day do, we think He will do so in our day when millions of innocents are slaughtered before their birth and the other violence in our world? Recall what Jesus said concerning the last days in Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
One day and I believe soon Jesus will return to put an end to the reign of terror on the earth and cleanse the world by the judgment of the Tribulation of which the Flood was a type. He will then bring a kingdom of peace on a renewed and cleansed earth. The Blood will cleanse!
Even a cursory reading of Scripture would suggest that God deems Blood Sacred because in it is Life! Life is in the blood not the flesh of God’s creature and that is an important distinction. God permitted man to eat Flesh (animals), but it had to be without Blood! God was insistent and incredibly clear on that point. In Leviticus 17 we find, “it is sin to eat any manner of blood.”
I know we are not under the Old Testament Levitical Laws but also realize that some things transcend the Mosaic or Levitical Law but in Acts 15 we have a record of the first Church council in Jerusalem where Paul and Barnabas appeared. They had taken the Gospel to the Gentiles. Many within the Jewish community sought to impose on these new believers circumcision and keeping the Law.
Paul went to Antioch after much dispute and reported to the Gentile believers, “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls saying, You must be circumcised, and keep the Law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” (v.24) He continued in vv.28-29 saying, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from BLOOD, and things strangled and from fornications.”
Why no blood today? I have learned that God’s commands are never arbitrary but logical and reasonable. He has a purpose in what He commands. There are many potential reasons for abstaining from blood including health and hygiene, but the two paramount reasons, I believe are: Life is in the blood, and Life is sacred. Follow me if you will. Since life is in the blood and flesh is lifeless without the blood God is demanding that we respect life. Therefore, to eat blood is to insult the life of God because “the life… is in the blood.”
You may choose to argue that point but if you carefully examine the directive of Scripture, I believe you will concur that God considers life and blood sacred and so should we. Thank God for the Blood of Jesus.
Blessings as you go through this day!