Phillip Medhurst presents 114/788 James Tissot Bible c 1899 Water Is changed into blood Exodus 7:20 Jewish Museum New York. By a follower of (James) Jacques-Joseph Tissot, French, 1836-1902. Gouache on board.
The six periods of sin-induced catastrophe on the earth are punctuated by six covenants which are part of God’s salvage-operation: through Noah, through Abraham, through Moses, through Joshua, through David, and through Jesus. Each covenant is an agreement by means of which a faithful remnant is defined by its commitment to Higher Truth and sets itself apart from the world, so that it may not only be spared the second death in the lake of fire, but be re-admitted to Paradise and access to the Tree of Life (Revelation 20:11-15). In each case in the Biblical account the spiritual movement towards God is symbolised by a geographical movement, and each covenant is sealed by the blood of sacrifice.
A sacrifice like Abel’s is required:
No shrieking root torn up,
Or apple plucked and dashed,
But some born thing, with sentience,
Whose face, bewildered by the knife
Will stare as life flows out.
That way our God is satisfied,
Reclaiming what he once bestowed,
Maybe, heartless, envying
This creature-kind who lived
And loved the crimson blood too much –
As though it were its own.