Why did God reject Cain’s sacrifice? Is God a flesh eater?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground and offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had no respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth and why is the countenance fallen." (4: 3,4.) C. If God was not a flesh eater why did he respect Abel and accept his offering of sheep and did not respect Cain and accept his offering? God is really responsible for this quarrel between the two brothers and for the death of Abel. The Christian God here (in these verses) talks like a man. His planting of the garden (of Eden), coming into it and going out of it are quite like the doings of man. This shows that the Bible is the work of man, not of God.
Answer: Again, it is clear that Maharishi is imposing his meaning on the text rather than allowing the Holy Bible to explain itself.
In this specific case, Maharishi is not even quoting the entire text lest he be exposed.
Let us quote the entire text:
Gen 4:6-7 so the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
The very verse itself explains why the sacrifice was rejected. There are other instances where the blood sacrifice itself was rejected due to the unrepentant sin of human beings.
Isaiah 1:11-18 “"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. "When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, to trample My courts.Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing [them]. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good; seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson they shall be as wool.”
The efficacy of the sacrifice not only depends on the prescribed way but also on the heart of the one who sacrifices.
The purpose and meaning of the sacrifice of animals will be explained later. Since Maharishi has raised the question of God being a ‘flesh eater’, let us examine the Vedic religion.
Rig Veda 1:162:1-12
1. SLIGHT us not Varuṇa, Aryaman, or Mitra, Ṛbhukṣan, Indra, Āyu, or the Maruts,When we declare amid the congregation the virtues of the strong Steed, God-descended.
2. What time they bear before the Courser, covered with trappings and with wealth, the grasped oblation, the dappled goat goeth straightforward, bleating, to the place dear to Indra and to Pūṣan.
3. Dear to all Gods, this goat, the share of Pūṣan, is first led forward with the vigorous Courser, while Tvaṣṭar sends him forward with the Charger, acceptable for sacrifice, to glory.
4. When thrice the men lead round the Steed, in order, who goeth to the Gods as meet oblation, the goat precedeth him, the share of Pūṣan, and to the Gods the sacrifice announceth.
5. Invoker, ministering priest, atoner, fire-kindler Soma-presser, sage, reciter,with this well ordered sacrifice, well finished, do ye fill full the channels of the rivers.
6. The hewers of the post and those who carry it, and those who carve the knob to deck the Horse's stake; those who prepare the cooking-vessels for the Steed,—may the approving help of these promote our work.
7. Forth, for the regions of the Gods, the Charger with his smooth back is come my prayer attends him. In him rejoice the singers and the sages. A good friend have we won for the Gods’ banquet.
8. May the fleet Courser's halter and his heel-ropes, the head-stall and the girths and cords about him. And the grass put within his mouth to bait him,—among the Gods, too, let all these be with thee.
9. What part of the Steed's flesh the fly hath eaten, or is left sticking to the post or hatchet, or to the slayer's hands and nails adhereth,—among the Gods, too, may all this be with thee.
10. Food undigested steaming from his belly, and any odour of raw flesh remaining,This let the immolators set in order and dress the sacrifice with perfect cooking.
11. What from thy body which with fire is roasted, when thou art set upon the spit, distilleth, let not that lie on earth or grass neglected, but to the longing Gods let all be offered.
12. They who observing that the Horse is ready call out and say, the smell is good; remove it; and, craving meat, await the distribution,—may their approving help promote labour.
Applying Maharishi’s logic we can say that these Vedic deities are flesh eaters and savages. Shall we?