Jump Start # 2982
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In the created world that God made, there was a difference between man and animals. Man was created in the image of God, animals were not. Man was formed out of the dirt, animals were not. God communicated and directed His will towards man, not animals. And, from our verse today, man had a position that was above the animals. It was man who named the animals, not the other way around. It was man who had dominion, or rule, over the animals, not the other way around. Man was above the animals.
All of this reinforces the special positon that God put man in. He is a little lower than the angels but above the animals. Our culture seems to be trying to elevate the role of animals on the level of humans. I was listening to a station on XM radio and they were promoting a new play list for “you and your dog.” I didn’t know that dogs listened to music. And, I wonder what kind of music makes it to the ‘dog list.’ How about Elvis’ “You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.” Or maybe some Three Dog Night would fit the bill. And, there is always “Who let the dogs out.” Don’t forget Snoop Dogg. The Royal Guardsmen had a couple of songs about Snoopy and the Red Baron. Now just who is going to put together this list for dogs? It won’t be a fellow dog, it will be a human.
Now as much as we like our pets and they serve a role in our lives, they are not equal to us and they are very limited in what they can do. Lately, I have seen more dogs on airplanes than children. Support dogs might be useful to some who have had a traumatic experience in their lives, but there is a limit to what a support dog can do. He can’t reason with you. He can’t discuss things with you. He can let you know when you are getting out of line with your thinking. That dog can’t lead you to Scriptures and he certainly can’t pray for you. Dogs are nice, but they cannot do what faith in Christ can. They cannot do what a fellowship can.
Here are some random thoughts about animals:
First, it is hard to understand the purpose of some animals. I don’t know why God made skunks that stink and rabbits that love to eat all the blooms in my garden. They likely have a purpose but I don’t understand some.
Second, God must have a great sense of humor when you look at some animals. The neck of the giraffe, the laugh of a hyena, a flamingo standing on one leg, a wood pecker pounding his head in a tree, the stripes of a zebra, the color of a parrot all very unique. Animals are not boring. God has a wide way of showing Himself in the animal world.
Third, it is God who said that man could eat animals. This came about not in Eden, but after the flood. Genesis 9 states, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” Now there are some things in that “every moving thing” aspect that I wouldn’t want to eat, such as snakes, worms and bugs. But modern times frowns on eating meat and hunting. That may not be your cup of tea, but to tell others that they shouldn’t do it or to insult them because they do is not right. This is a decree from God.
Fourth, unfortunately animals can be kinder than some people. The purr of a kitten or the wagging of a dog’s tail can put a smile on our face. Some people would do good to learn from animals. God even used animals, such as ants, badgers, locusts, eagles and even lizards to illustrate lessons that we need to see. Our Lord entered Jerusalem riding a donkey. Jonah spent three nights inside a giant fish that God prepared. In teaching about worry, Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air.” God uses His creation to teach us. We do well to spend some time looking at what God has placed before us.
Our Lord is connected to two animals, a lamb and a lion. John called Jesus, the lamb of God. Like a lamb that is innocently led to slaughter, so was Jesus. But Jesus is also a lion, the king of the jungle. Strong, powerful, and confident, that’s both the lion and our Lord.
I’ve seen someone in our neighborhood pushing a baby stroller, but there was no baby in it. It was her dog. That seems odd to me, and I suppose she really loves her dog. It was wrapped up in a blanket, just like a baby.
A music play list for dogs. I can see my grandfather just shaking his head at such a thought.
Let us remember the place of animals in our lives and let us remember our place with the Lord. God expects things from us because we can. And, because we can, we must.