A Christian Viewpoint on animals and God.
By Jeannie St. John Taylor,
Oregon author of Culture Proof Kids
I had to resist a strong urge to rush across the Atlantic and adopt the badly burned koala found in a charred Australian forest after I saw her photo on the news. How desperate she must have felt to seek out a fireman, hold onto him and drink from his water bottle! Such behavior from a wild koala is even more amazing since koalas don’t customarily drink much water.
So do you think it hurt God’s heart to see thousands of animals suffer and die because a few humans ignored his laws and deliberately set fires? I do.
Please understand: I know full well humans are made in God’s image and animals are not. I am not an environmentalist. I wear leather shoes, I once owned a fur coat, I don’t view paper bags as an assault on trees, and yes, I eat beef.
Still, I think animals matter to God; he loves the animals he created. I can almost see him looking down from heaven delighting in their antics in much the same way we enjoy watching them. Want to hear what God says about animals?
“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.” (Psalm 50:10,11)
Job tells us God watches mountain goats and does give birth. He loosed donkeys to roam wild, clothes the horse’s neck with a mane and observes the eagle hunt then soar back up to his nest. He cares about every detail of the animals he created. (Job 39) The book of Matthew indicates he watches even common sparrows hop along the ground.
Proverbs 12:10 tells us how he expects his followers to treat animals. “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.”
A few weeks ago a friend asked me to pray for endangered gorillas, and I did. I’ve prayed for the Australian animals as well. In my book 101 Stories of Answered Prayer an entire section is dedicated to miraculous stories about prayers that have been answered for the animals I’ve owned. I believe its okay with God if we pray for animals; I know he answers prayers for them.
And knowing that he cares so much about animals gives me a greater understanding of my own worth . . . because Jesus says I am far more valuable than any animal. (see Matt. 10:29)
Jeannie St. John Taylor, author of 101 Stories of Answered Prayer
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