Ask almost anyone, and they will tell you that wild animals especially large carnivores are dangerous. You cross paths with them, and they will kill you. Hollywood portrays wild animals as ravaging killers.
The belief that animals are dangerous is completely contrary to the Bible. This is where you put your faith to the test. If you are hiking and come across a large bear, which do you believe, Hollywood or the Bible. It could save your life.
Let’s look at the changing role of animals in the Bible. Genesis 1:26, the verse after God said be fruitful and multiply, He said man have dominion over all animals. Animals at that time only ate plants. However, that was before the eating of the “apple”. After the fall of man, many things changed.
Seven chapters latter, it was Noah and the flood. When Noah came out of the ark, God said be fruitful and multiply the second time. This time, he also said something relevant to us today each time we go into the wilderness.
Genesis 9:2 :
The fear and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
“Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. “
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. “
Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it.
This is a wonderful provision God has given
us. Too bad even many Christians do not believe it. Let’s look at what
it does and does not say.
1. The rule applies to every single animal from birds to deep sea creatures.
2.It did not say animals will never eat humans. Instead, it said it has a fear, and not just a fear but dread, which emphasizes great fear.
3 . Humans can eat animals for food, not just plants.
4 . You cannot drink an animal’s blood.
5 . Animals will be held accountable for killing humans.
The fith point is interesting in that animals will be accountable for killing humans. We think of animals as robotic creatures. Their spiritual perception is actually beyond our comprehension. In Numbers 22:21, it was the donkey that saw the angel of the Lord, which was Jesus, with a sword. Animals have more perception than many humans. The donkey immediately stopped while Balaam kept hitting the donkey. If animals can talk, this is what they would say. The donkey was given the ability of speech. It said why did you hit me three times. So it actually counted. It said have I ever done this to you all your life? The donkey remembered past years, and was able to give a character defense for itself.
Animals are held accountable which by definition
means they know the rules. They know how they will be judged. Animals unlike
humans have no problem believing in God, so they have knowledge of God in ways
that we don't.
We often hear sharks take a mistaken bite out of human and let go. You wonder if is like a dog that chews up the owner’s belonging as the person walks in, and it quickly lets go. In the case of sharks, it must sense the all-powerful creator, and the shark knows it should not have bitten a human.
This provision God has given humans has been a great assistance to humanity for centuries. The fear of man means we can train animal for work. Animals are much more powerful than humans. They help us farm and transport goods. Animal meat has high energy content. The fear of human has given us safety. The last is an important point to remember latter in the book of Revelations
Up to this point all these Bible books are just words. Are there any truth to this? Hollywood and evening news shows animals to be aggressive killers. Good thing for the internet, you can see many animal behavior videos:
Here is one people are stealing meat from hungry lions.
Another video of stealing meat from cheetah.
Video on swimming with sharks. More in depth Video discussion.
Video of man chasing bear away.
Photographer shooing polar bear away
My own story: Over 10 years ago in Fairbanks Alaska we visited a sled dog place outside of town. The owner said the other side of the yard was the alpha. It was the closest to a wolf they have. Is a wolf hybrid. They would tie a female outside when is hot to get the good strong gene. It gave it strength, and made it a natural leader. Like an alpha, this dog was standing proud and tall. I thought it made for a very good picture. I walked away from the group to get closer, but not close enough for it to growl at me. It was way stronger than I was. It could probably tear me up from limb to limb. It probably knew that too. While standing pround, it happen to turned to look at me. It realized I was there, and as if in embaressment, it lowered its head immediately. I lost the good picture. That greatly perplexed me. Why did a fierce wolf dog have to lower its head at me a weakling? It was not until latter I came across Genesis again and remembered that incident, and put it together to realize it is true. I probably dismissed it through lack of faith the first time reading it long ago in college. Animals do fear and dread humans.
While animals fear man, and all animals are given as food to us, we in return need to be kind to animal.
Proverbs 12:10 "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
A good person naturally knows to be kind to animal.
Deuteronomy 22:6 "If a bird's nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.
If you find a nest on the ground, the mother must be in distress. She is risking her life to be still caring for the youngs, so let the mother go, but you can keep the young or the eggs.
Deuteronomy 25:4 "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain."
Animals are under our rule. We still need to treat it with care while they are helping us. The ox is grinding the grain, it must want to eat some as work makes it hungry. Let it eat.
We are in the period of grace. As with all periods, it does not last forever. The next period is Revelation, and animal behavior will change once again.
Revelation 6:8 “
…behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
The last few words gave a brief mention of many killed by wild beasts of the earth. As usual, Bible condenses a lot of information into a small space. You have to sense the that it is portraying. This is a drastic change in animal behavior. Large wild animals are incredibly powerful, but they fear humans now. If they lose that fear, they can easily attack humans. The verse suggests that their behavior is now aggressive where they initiate the attack. If you think for a moment, the large wild animals may not be the biggest problem. We have weapons to eradicate them. Is the little ones that may be much more problematic.
There are plenty of black widow spiders and rattle snakes where I live. They run away, and don’t bother you. If their nature changes to where they initiate the attack, life would be dangerous. You sleep at night, and a black widow or a rat crawls up to bite you. As Proverbs 20:28 said “a lizard can be caught in your hands, yet It lives in king’s palaces.” These small animals are everywhere. Aggressive small animals can be very dangerous. If you ever find yourself at the wrong side of Revelation, do not go into the wilderness or the ocean. Get a netting to surround the bed!!
Lastly, not all is doom and gloom. At the end of Revelation, animals once again change nature.
Isaiah 11:6 “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat…”. There is not only peace between nations, but peace settles over all of nature as well. Animals will no longer kill each other. “The lion will eat straw like the ox.” Humans will be friends again with animals “the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.” “For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord”
The knowledge of God is of course love as God
is love. The presence of His love brings peace over all the earth.
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