Posts tagged meat
In the first seven chapters of the book of Genesis, I’ve noted a common theme – the loss of innocence – which leads to severe calamities for the human race. First, there was Adam & Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That led to the murder of one of their sons by one of their sons. Eventually, the whole world became full of wicked people who had to be destroyed in order for God to start over with his creation.
Now, in chapter 8, we find a new day dawning – a new era for the human race. With these 8 people and the animals that they rescued from the flood, God would start afresh. Of course, one problem remained. These people weren’t pure and perfect like Adam & Eve. And if the actions of the perfect first couple led to destruction, how in the world were these 8 going to have any better results?
That’s where God provides some reassurances. First, God promises not to destroy the earth by flood again. He takes that one off the table. Instead, he signals to Noah and his family that a new order is now in place. How does he do this? When God tells Noah and his family “Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything,” he isn’t just saying that they can eat meat. He’s saying that they are now living under a different system entirely.
Meat would have been foreign to Noah and his family. They probably had no desire to eat it. It may have even been repulsive to them. But in his instructions, God creates a symbolic representation of the reality of the situation. He continues to build on the theme of innocence lost. The animals which, up to this point, had been simply for work or pleasure, now had an additional function in the world which was caused by the loss of innocence and the resultant choices that inevitably had to be made because of it.
The loss of innocence, then, would lead mankind to eat meat – a concept that wasn’t part of the original created world, but which was clearly acceptable to God in this new order of things. In fact, it was God’s suggestion.