Monday, October 8, 2018

Animals are in a fallen world because of us!

Did you know that humanity is THE reason animals suffer in our fallen world? It’s true; they are in a "fallen world" because of us; Scripture tells us so. Let's check it out:

In the Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) Adam and Eve named the animals. Genesis 1:24–27 states that YHWH made the land animals, as well as the first man and woman, on Day Six of Creation Week. Genesis 2:18–23 tells us that Adam named the animals before Eve was created. This shows that Adam had some kind of a relationship with the animals. Everyone lived in harmony.

Ultimately, Adam and Eve sinned and were banned from the Garden, consequently, mankind is born into a "fallen world." That is why MAN – who knows the difference between “good and evil” and can make logical decisions - has to be redeemed. Man tends to sin. but animals do not. Animals don't lie or cheat or sit around planning to do evil; they simply do what they were created to do: Live and survive, multiply and die.

We are told that animals have souls (Genesis 1:30), but unlike man, animals don't sin; and therefore, they don't need to be redeemed. However, if they kill a human being, according to Scripture, they WILL suffer the consequences:

Genesis 9:2 The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything - 4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat.

5 I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. 6 Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image. (CJB)

Moving on to the next covenant, in Genesis 6:5-8, we discover that the fall brought man to new depths. YHWH was sorry that He created mankind and planned to destroy every living thing (which He repeated in verses 17-19):

Genesis 6: 5 ADONAI saw that the people on earth were very wicked, that all the imaginings of their hearts were always of evil only. 6 ADONAI regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart. 7 ADONAI said, "I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the whole earth; and not only human beings, but animals, creeping things and birds in the air; for I regret that I ever made them." 8 But Noach found grace in the sight of ADONAI. (CJB)

Now, pay close attention to this: Most children's stories center around the idea that Noah took two of every animal onto the ark. However, Genesis 7:2-4 reveals that He ordered "two of every kind" of UNCLEAN animal, and "seven of every CLEAN animal!" Why? Well, the answer lies in Genesis 8:17-22. Noah's first act, upon setting foot on dry land, was to sacrifice one of every clean animal. The blood of those CLEAN animals atoned for man's sins. With "clean" animals being sacrificed, it seems that more were needed so that they could survive and reproduce!

In Genesis 9:1-5, we see YHWH making His covenant with Noah, wherein Noah is reminded of the elements of the covenant with Adam - and we discover that this new covenant did not "replace" the old; rather, it augmented it.

But now we also discover the reason why animals suddenly came to FEAR man:

Genesis 9:2 The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. 3 Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything - 4 only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat. 5 I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. 6 Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image." (CJB)

And then we also discover, to our utter amazement, that He established His covenant not just with MAN but also with the animals!

Genesis 9: 9 "As for me - I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you - the birds, the livestock and every wild animal with you, all going out of the ark, every animal on earth. 11 I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth." (CJB)

So…if animals were of no consequence, then WHY would our Creator have bothered to include them in a covenant? He clearly viewed them as living, breathing beings with the ability to THINK, COMPREHEND and UNDERSTAND – each, according to their own kind and abilities! (For instance, remember the story about Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22, which certainly seems to suggest that animals are capable of thinking and have a "sense of self.")

BOTTOM LINE: The animals of the world suffer because of sinful MAN! Scripture amply reveals that man is certainly prone to sinning, and that's why we need to be redeemed. As a matter of fact, humankind is in a "fallen world" because we have always sinned ... and, according to Scripture, our actions caused animals to end up in a "fallen world" right alongside of us, being cursed BECAUSE of us!

(For a more indepth study, please see our article, Animals in Heaven.)

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