Appreciating God's Creation, Animals
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For the animal lover,
If you have a companion animal, I am almost sure that you would agree that your nonhuman family member has a distinct personality. My furry white Pomeranian Blanco is talkative, curious, mischievous, and loves to be the center of attention.
When I consider animals, I think of God's amazing creativity, goodness, and sovereignty.
Yes, humans are the crowning creation of God, made in His image ~ Genesis 1:27, yet there is also value in His animals. Scripture tells us that God does care for and enjoy His creatures ~ Job 38:39-41; Psalms 104; Jonah 4:11; Matthew 10:29-31. Also, Scripture tells us that humans are to be caretakers and stewards of all His animals ~ Genesis 1:28. We can learn a lot from animals, and we can even find companionship with them.
I value life, all life because God created life.
There is appreciation to be had for animals as they are uniquely God's creation. ~ CLICK TO TWEET
What does the Bible say about animals?
From Genesis 1:20-25 we learn of the creation of all the animals,
"Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good."
From these verses, we see when God created the animals He saw that it was good, "towb" in Hebrew meaning "good, pleasant, agreeable."
Also in Genesis, we learn that animals have the "breath of life" and that God communed with them to get them on Noah's ark.
"And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life." ~ Genesis 7:15
This was always one of my favorite Bible stories as a child; I collected Noah's ark pieces as well. After the flood, God made a promise to mankind as well as "every living thing,"
"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh." ~ Genesis 9:13-15
There are numerous mentions of animals in the Bible, but I want just to highlight a few that I find particularly beautiful and interesting.
Just as humans are subject to the fall, all creation is as well, including the animals. We see this in Romans 8:18-22,
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now."
As well, we see that all the creation will be liberated and transformed. And we and all creation wait eagerly and with expectations for Christ's return and glory. Further on this point, consider Isaiah 11:6-9 and Christ's reign on the earth;
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea."
An additional verse to contemplate is Luke 3:6. The Bible isn't explicit on the eternal status of animals, but these verses do provide some interesting food for thought.
Another riveting story is that of Balaam and his donkey, Numbers 22:21-33, which gives us insight into animals and their possible awareness of the spiritual realm. Not only was the donkey able to see the Angel, but God empowered her to speak.
One of my favorite passages about animals reveals that we can learn much from them, that animals glorify God, and that animals show His sovereignty,
“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?" ~ Job 12:7-10
What can we observe from animals?
There are thousands of interesting tidbits about animals, so let's look at a few.
Did you know that a mother hen will coo at her chicks even before they hatch? Did you know that roosters will keep watch of the hen and her eggs? Mother hens are very protective of their babies.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! ~ Luke 13:34
Deer can run approximately 30 mph. They can jump up to 10ft high, and they are also excellent swimmers. Deer are agile, fast, and steady and can navigate uneven terrain through mountains and forests.
"It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places." ~ Psalms 18:32-33
Though I am not a fan of insects, ants are still very amazing! Ants are one of the strongest creatures on earth in relation to their size. Some ants can carry 100x their weight!
"Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise," ~ Proverbs 6:6
Though donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, their behaviors are a result of their high intelligence and cautious nature. ~ Numbers 22:28-31
One of the names for Jesus is the Lion of Judah ~ Revelation 5:5. The roar of a lion can be heard from up to 5 miles away! A male lion's mane makes them look larger, an intimidation factor. This benefits their boldness when confronting competitors and defending the pride’s territory.
"The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion." ~ Proverbs 28:1
Jesus is also called the Lamb of God, as well as, the Good Shephard. Sheep have fantastic memories and can remember individual sheep and humans for years. Sheep can show different emotions by the positions of their ears, they can vocalize to communicate different emotions, and they recognize emotions through facial expressions. Sheep can even self-medicate by eating certain plants for some illnesses. Sheep are highly social animals and are nearly as smart as the next animal, pigs.
Pigs are remarkably intelligent, insightful, and inquisitive. Pigs are also very clean and take mud baths to stay cool as they do not sweat. Also very social, pigs can form close bonds with other creatures and humans. They enjoy close contact and often snuggle close together.
Curious, funny, and also moody cows can be known to hold a grudge.
"The Israelites are stubborn,
like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the LORD pasture them
like lambs in a meadow?" ~ Hosea 4:16
Yet, cows also show great devotion and will moo together until a wandering cow finds their way back to the herd. Mother cows will walk for miles to find their missing calves.
All animals were created by God and humans were given dominion. God also calls us to "clothe yourselves in tenderhearted mercy, kindness . . ." ~ Colossians 3:12. Shouldn't we extend this to all of God's creatures? Colossians 1:16 reads,
"for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him."
All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus.
This world and the creatures within were created by and are under the authority of Christ, and exist to give Him glory. ~ CLICK TO TWEET
“Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalm 150:6.
If you would like an intriguing and in-depth look at "God's wonderful plan for animals," (from the publisher) I encourage you to read Do Dogs Go To Heaven? by M Jean Holmes. It provides some fascinating subject for thought.
Yours Truly, LeNae
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