January 9, 2020
Volume 24, Number 2
Often on any given day I hear the sound of sirens. I know what it means: someone is in distress, and trained professionals are speeding down the road to their rescue. I’m thankful for all who give their lives to this work, whether professionals or volunteers. We don’t always notice their work, for they do it so frequently.
When people go out of their way to rescue animals, however, we often take note. I’ve found two examples of this in the news just now. One story tells of the fire department in Liberty, Maine who took time to rescue a horse that had fallen into a frozen creek. It took a tractor and several men to do it, but the older mare was eventually pulled to safety and appears to be OK.
The second story comes from Britain where rescuers helped free a cat from prison in Cumbria. The cat had climbed at 25-foot fence topped with razor wire, and then saw its plight. Rescue workers used ladders and a pole to eventually lift the frightened feline from the top of the fence, and it has now been returned to its owner.
What do such stories say about people? Some people see little difference between animals and people. People, they say, are just more highly evolved, and thus we are actually “cousins” with animals. That idea drives many to drastically different lifestyles in which animals no longer provide food or clothing for people.
The Bible gives a different view. In Genesis 1 we find the account of God’s creation. On the fifth day he created birds and sea creatures (Genesis 1:21,22). On the sixth day mammals and other land-dwelling creatures were created, including man (Genesis 1:24-27). But one distinctive thing about man is highlighted in that last verse: “God created man in His own image; male and female He created them.” That fact is not stated about any other living thing.
So does that mean we should have no humane feelings toward animals? Proverbs 12:10 teaches otherwise: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” To “regard” the life of an animal we own means that we care for that animal, and give consideration to its needs. Cruelty to animals is certainly frowned upon in this passage.
Deuteronomy 25:4 is a similar teaching: “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Your profits go up if you prevent an ox from eating while it works. God knows, however, that this animal needed food to provide its energy.
God cares even about animals (see also Matthew 6:26). When people rescue animals we get a glimpse of the One in whose image we were created.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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