December 31, 2020
Volume 24, Number 47
Over the last several days I’ve noticed ads on television showing scenes of abused and neglected animals. The purpose is to reach people who are looking to make end-of-year tax deductible gifts. I’ll have to admit that the sight of a shivering or chained do tweaks my heart strings. How can people do such things?
This past week there have been four different stories in the news of people who did more than just give money to bring relief to animals. A water rescue team came to the aid of a donkey that had been stranded for a month on a South African island. In Brookfield, New Hampshire a team of firefighters, police, and others spent eight hours to free a horse stuck in deep mud. Firefighters and police rescued a deer that had fallen through ice on a frozen lake in Kansas. In Maine a kayaker came to the rescue of a goat that had escaped from a veterinary clinic and ventured into the ocean.
Those kinds of stories are really not hard to find. It seems that there are kindhearted people everywhere, even if they’re not card-carrying members of the American Humane Society. But the question that comes to my mind is – “Why show concern for animals?”
The answer to that question begins in the book of beginnings. In Genesis 1:27 we learn this: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” That’s what separates people from animals: We are made in God’s image.
God teaches us to show a humane attitude even to animals. In Exodus 23:5 He told Israel, “If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.” It seems the focus of God’s command is to relieve the burden from the animal, though such action might help thaw a human relationship, too.
Proverbs 12:10 shows God’s concern for humane treatment of animals: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
These passages do not put animals on the same level with people; as God told Noah in Genesis 9:3, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Still, we should feel compassion toward the animals that serve our needs, and strive to prevent undue suffering for them.
Stories about people working to rescue animals remind us that we’re more than animal in our essence. Made in the image of God, we should have compassion for those creatures that are helpless or in danger. In thinking this way we’ll be modeling the attitude God has toward us (Luke 15:4-7).
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.
~ ~ ~~~
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.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.