At the end of Lessons 2, we see that Abel sacrificed a first born lamb, the best of his flock to God in Genesis chapter 4. God accepted this sacrifice but did not accept Cain’s sacrifice. His sacrifice did not include a blood offering- a life for a life for our sin. Cain was then forced to leave his family after murdering his brother. Cain’s children did not follow God. Adam and Eve had another child named Seth in chapter 5. Seth’s children did follow God. In the Basic Bible Study, we learn that Cain’s children are often called “sons of man”. Seth’s children are often called “sons of God”. Seth’s children for the most part worshipped God. Eventually only one was left- Noah. In chapter 6, we learn that everyone else on the Earth was full of sin and evil. They disobeyed God. Noah was the only one left who obeyed God. Because of this God limited the human lifespan to 120 years. He then ordered Noah to build a boat for him and his family (his wife and his sons along with their wives- 8 people total). God was going to destroy everyone on the Earth with a flood. Why? Because all they wanted to do was sin and follow evil.
Noah was 600 when he and his family entered the Ark. God ordered Noah to take 2 pairs of every unclean animal. He ordered him to take 7 pairs of clean animals and birds, for future sacrifices and to eat. When God closed the door to the boat, it started to rain and underground water burst forth. It did this for 40 days and nights. The water covered the entire Earth for 150 days. After Noah became 601 years old, God ordered Noah to exit the boat. The flood was all dried up. Noah immediately built an altar to God and made a sacrifice. This required a blood sacrifice of an animal. God accepted this sacrifice, just like He accepted Abel’s sacrifice. He then put a rainbow in the clouds to mark a new promise or covenant. He would never again destroy the entire Earth with a flood!
Pay special attention to the Abel’s sacrifice of the animal in Genesis 4. Noah also made a similar sacrifice. You see, our sin leads to death. The only way our sin can be forgiven is if someone dies for us. In the Old Testament, God ordered His people to sacrifice animals in place of our sin. The animal’s blood or life was not perfect. This was only an example pointing to a greater sacrifice that would happen in the future. Jesus who is perfect became our perfect sacrifice on the cross. We do not need to sacrifice animals anymore because Jesus’s blood and life is perfect. He sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sin. Anyone who believes in Jesus will live forever with Him in His kingdom.