Gen. 4:4 And Abel also brought an offering, from the firstlings of his flock, that is, from their fat portions. And Jehovah had regard for Abel and for his offering.
22:18 And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
God’s relationship with man in the Scriptures includes the dispensation, the section of time, before the law, part of which is the time from God’s creation of man to the calling of Abraham.
Genesis 4:4 and 8:20-22 speak of the burnt offering, a type of Christ. God regarded man, that is, respected man, and was pleased with man, not in man’s good doing, but in the burnt offering. This is why Abel came to offer the burnt offering to God, and God regarded both him and his offering.
The second dispensation covers the period of time from the calling of Abraham to the decree of the law through Moses.
As a continuation of the previous dispensation, God again regarded man in the burnt offering (12:7; 13:18; 22:13; 31:54; Job 1:5).
In addition, God promised Abraham that in his seed, the coming Christ, all the nations of the earth, including us, would be blessed (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:8, 16). Eventually this promise was absolutely fulfilled, as revealed in Galatians 3. (Life-study of Job, pp. 169-171)
As the man created by God in His image (Gen. 1:26), man needed to take God (symbolized by the tree of life) as his life that he might live God, express God, and represent God (2:9); and as such a one, he needed to be transformed into precious materials (vv. 10-12) and to be built up as a counterpart to God (vv. 18-24).
As a fallen man, man needed to receive Christ for his redemption (typified by the sacrifice with its shed blood) that he might be justified by God in Christ (typified by the coats of the sacrifice’s skins—3:21). Fallen man also needed to receive Christ as the seed of the woman that he might be delivered from Satan the “serpent’s” death-power (v. 15; Heb. 2:14).
All these matters—the sacrifice with its blood, the coats of skins, and the seed of the woman—are found in Genesis 3. I would encourage you all, even the young ones, to learn these things and then try to present them to others. For example, a young person may visit a younger relative and speak about the need of fallen man to be justified by God in Christ or about the need for Christ as the seed of woman. First, we should digest all these truths ourselves, and then we should learn how to present them to others.
As a redeemed person, man needed to offer Christ as the burnt offering that he might be regarded, respected, by God (Gen. 4:4). Man also needs to call on the name of Jehovah (v. 26), to walk with God (5:22), to work for God that he might be delivered from the corrupted and God-condemned world (6:11-18), and to live before God through Christ as the burnt offering that the earth could be kept in order (8:20-22).
As people chosen by God, we, the descendants of Abraham, the race chosen by God, need to receive and answer God’s call (Gen. 12:1-4), to live before God through Christ as our burnt offering (v. 7; 13:18; 22:13), to be exposed by the law that we might know that we are sinful and do not have the capacity to keep the law (Exo. 19:8, 21—20:21), and to live with God by taking Christ as the tabernacle, the priest, and the offerings that we may enter into God and enjoy all that God is with Christ and in Christ (Exo. 25—Lev. 27).
According to the way of Job’s nomadic living (Job 1:3) and the way he offered the burnt offering for his children, this book should have been written at the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v. 5; Gen. 22:13; 31:54), about 2000 B.C. This means that Job was written five hundred years before Moses wrote the Pentateuch. (Life-study of Job, pp. 187-189, 2)
Further Reading: Life-study of Job, msg. 32