Friday, July 24, 2009

Animals caught in the cross fire

Why is it that animals have to pay for man's sin? Zephaniah 1:2 it starts off with God saying "I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth," declares the LORD. "I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the LORD"

I'm also reading Revelation for our bible talk group and I read today in Rev 16:3 it said "The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died"

We also read in the Old Testament about animal sacrifice for the atonement of sin. And it wasn’t just any animal, it had to be pure, the best of the best. Deut 15: 21 says not to sacrifice an animal with defect

What are your thoughts on the role of animals in the bible? Do you think they got the raw end of the deal?


Mitchel Thomas Gonzalez said...

Here are a couple of links

DVD on animals in the bible

Blog on another blog about animals in the bible

Reverend who performs pet funerals

Danger Ashley said...

I think the animals are a gift from God. I don't think he is punishing the animals so much as punishing people by removing the animals.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 9:1-3

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Tera Chau said...

hmmmm both ur comments r thot provoking! I do feel bad for the animals, gosh the consequences of our sins r so far reaching... sad :(

greeeeeat thots bros, super grateful for u guys! luv u :)

hananiah said...

Animals are lovely creatures, keeping man company since the time of Adam and Eve. They also provided multiple facets of support and sustenance to man throughout history. Although many animals may pose a risk to humans, humans are not the natural prey of any other animal.

It's truly a privilege to rule over animals and to have the earth as our home (tent). With much that is given, much responsibility is expected. To rule over is no to take advantage of, disrespect, oppress or abuse. Power is not the abandonment of civility, but the burden of love. It's humbling that God even rebukes and punishes man through animals, like with donkeys and locusts.

What's great is that we no longer sacrifice animals to atone for our sins. To survive, man used to migrate with herds but then domesticated their own after a time. The sacrifice of animals carried two meanings; one being the seriousness of sin, life and death (that of an innocent, pure and clean animal), and two having loss of our best elements of survival to remind us of who Lord.

Jesus was the final and all-encompassing sacrificial lamb. In Philippians 2 it's says how He humbled himself to death, even death on a cross. It also says how we should imitate His humility and to consider others. We can easily look to treatment of animals for a stark dose of real humility. Hopefully that consideration would stoke a compassion within us.

Most of us can neither bear witness to the abuse or slaughter of animals but can care less if it happens, or we can be so belligerent and proud of our carnivorous nature that we demean the gift of animals by God. Here we can take a lessons from indigenous peoples who honor the sacrifice animals make for us. In the Old Testament, David was confronted by Nathan through a story of a man who loved a little ewe lamb and cared for it as if it were his own daughter.

God and Jesus have graciously relieved our obligation to animal sacrifice (and seemingly mass destruction of animals as well). Perhaps our progression will continue and bring us back to where we live more harmoniously with animals as it were in Eden. I, being a practicing omnivore, even respect those who refrain from eating meat. They represent a mature sense of humanity that I aspire to attain.

Does the idea of life with peace and love sound preposterous? Or can it be mocked and dismissed as 'hippie' fantasy? Surely it can, but let the wise listen to the prophet Isaiah who speaks of the wolf living with the lamb, the leopard lying down with the goat and all sorts of animals being lead by a little child. He goes on with loads of examples, and even says how the lion will eat straw like the ox. Do we believe such insanity? We should, because there shall be a new earth and a new heaven where this shall be true.

To answer the question posed... Yes! Animals do get the raw end of the deal. It shall not always be this way. For whether by way of the wisdom and the maturation of man or by God's ushering, the suffering of animals shall end completely. Let's live, learn and love...

hananiah said...

Great prep and question Mitch! My thoughts really started to flow :) I don't think I considered animals much in relation to the Bible. What a cool thing to ponder...

Thank you!