Wednesday, October 05, 2005

God's Love for Animals

I have been searching for scripture regarding God's love for the animals. I have written ministers and various people, seeking the answers to this horrid abuse going on of the animals and how God must be so sad that man is distroying and abusing that, which He created.
Today I received an email from a very dear friend, and she found that answer for me. I'd like to share it with you.

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10-11(KJV): 10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.

Thoughts for the Day:
The wisdom in the book of Proverbs in these verses addresses the issue regarding the care of animals and the land. Verse 10 tells us that if a man is righteous, he will care for the life of the animals that belong to him. He will have tender mercy for them, and not be as a wicked man whose tender mercies are cruel. God had a special love for animals as they were a big part of his creation in the book of Genesis. He never intended the abuse we see today of earth's wonderful creatures. Does God care how we treat these special creations?
Does His heart respond to the fearful mewing of a motherless kitten or the exhaustion of a donkey staggering under a load far too heavy for it? Does He care about the animals that are bred in cramped quarters and exploited for profit? Does He care when animals are made to race until many die from over-exertion? Does He care that cocks are encouraged to fight so that men might win a bet when one of them is killed? Does He care that a bull will be gored to death so that a gallant display of pageantry between a man and a beast can be applauded? Yes, He cares about these animals and so should we.
God was so interested in the welfare of the animal kingdom that He created, that He even commanded Noah, in the time of judgement on the earth, to make the ark big enough to hold two of every kind of animal that existed so that they would not be destroyed. He made the animals so that man could enjoy them, and so that they would be a blessing to him.
The Bible actually has much to say in regard to animal abuse. In the beginning, God created the earth and all the creatures on it to be under the authority of humanity. He entrusted these beautiful elements of His creation to our care (Genesis 1:26). Our sinful nature causes us to abuse these things, sometimes without even realizing it. Yet, God expects the Christian, above all others, to be sensitive to all of His creation, knowing that exploiting or abusing it shows a disrespect for God Himself. Abuse of anything that God made is not the character of God, but rather of the Evil One.
Verse 11 tells us that even the land is a gift to man and that we are to manage it properly as well. The earth brings forth the food for man, and if it is neglected and abused it will produce inferior crops. A man must till his land for proper planting and also to keep it free from the weeds that would not allow a good crop. If a man works his land and takes care of his crop, he will produce a harvest that will bring forth the food (bread) that he needs. However, if a man follows useless pursuits and neglects his land, he is a man who lacks the understanding of the principles of proper stewardship.
Today men are not only abusing the animals, but they are raping the land as well, by the over use of it. In the Law of the Israelites, for example, one of the purposes of the Sabbath year of rest for the land, was to let the land lie fallow--and so that the poor as well as livestock and wild animals could eat from it (Exodus 23:11 and Leviticus 25:7). The Sabbath day itself was not only for humans to rest. God also commanded us to give our animals rest on the same day. (Exodus 20:10). He also commanded the Israelites to help both their friends and enemies when their ox or donkey had fallen over, or was carrying a burden too heavy for it to bear (Exodus 23:5 and Deuteronomy 22:4). In addition, livestock were also allowed to eat as they worked (Deuteronomy 25:4). Finally, God says to us in Proverbs 27:23: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." Throughout the Bible, God shows how He expects us to care for our animals in practical ways.

Prayer for the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your beautiful creation of the animal world. Lord, I am personally thankful for all the wonderful pets that I have had throughout my lifetime. They have been, and are a great joy in my life. I pray for the safety and health of them. Lord, I pray that men will care for the animals in this world properly. Change men's hearts that are guilty of exploiting the animal kingdom all over the world. Bless the creatures of the sea, the birds of the air, all the domestic animals and all of the wild animals as well. Lord, it will be a blessing when the day of Your kingdom arrives in this earth and the animals will no longer fear man and the lamb and lion shall lie down together. In the meantime, help us all to do our part in caring for your magnificent creation -- animals, plants, sea and land. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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