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Furry Friends forevermore
A Heavenly Reunion With Your Pet
By GARY KURZ
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2013Gary Kurz
All rights reserved.
God Loves His Creatures
This chapter title makes a very bold statement. It claims that animals are loved by God. To some, this statement might seem a little outrageous. They believe that animals are relatively unimportant in this world and certainly not important to God. The only time they hear about animals from the pulpit is when the preacher talks about Noah's Ark or animals being sacrificed. In fact, they may point out that the word animal doesn't even appear in the Bible. So how can they be important if God doesn't even mention them?
While it is true the word animal does not appear in scripture, animals are mentioned in more than just a few passages; hundreds to be exact. Words and phrases like beasts, creatures, every living thing, and things that have breath are used in lieu of the word animal, but they mean the same thing.
Throughout the Bible are teachings that animals are important to God. Animals are living souls; but they are also eternal souls. They don't live only in the here and now, they live forever. God made them that way. He made all life that way. They are assured of an eternity with their creator when they pass from this world. We will discuss this truth in greater detail in chapter three, but first I would like to continue discussing why animals merit God's attention.
Why are they important to God? Why did He make them eternal souls? Why are they assured a place in Heaven? The short and obvious answer is that God loves them. Love is the ultimate motivator. When we love a person or an animal, we want them with us. We want to spend time with them and be a part of their lives. Indeed, we want them to spend forever with us.
Why then do we imagine that God cannot feel the same way? As we learn in the book of Genesis, God finds much pleasure in the life He has created. With His own hands He brought that life from nothingness. By sheer will He formed living creatures. He loved them one and all. He beheld the entirety of His creation and assessed "that it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).
All His creatures pleased Him. And when I say all, I mean all; not some, not many, not even most, but all. That pleasure does not end simply because the earthly shell of one of His creatures expires. God is immutable. You may understand that to mean God never changes, but the meaning is deeper. Not only is it true God does not change, but He cannot change. He is perfect. Perfection cannot be improved. God's perfect love is immutable. It simply cannot change. God cannot stop loving His creatures.
For example, and this may shock you, God loves even the wicked Satan and his horde of fallen angels (demons). He hates Satan's sin. He hates that this once beloved cherub, formerly known as Lucifer, sinned against Him. God hates that Satan led one third of the angels in rebellion against Him. He hates that Satan has wreaked havoc upon His prized creation, mankind. But God still loves him. God is love. He is immutable. Therefore, His love is immutable.
If God can love the undeserving and ungodly, how much more is there a place in His heart for his creatures who remain sinless and innocent? God loves His animals. He has always loved them and He always will, because His love is immutable.
Shame on those who presumptuously claim that God's love has a time limit or condition attached to it. They need to revisit I Corinthians Chapter 13 and earnestly consider the characteristics of agape or Godly love. It is quite unlike our own human or eros love. It is perfect and constant love, not fickle and conditional like our own.
God is no less the animals' creator than He is ours. No one could, or at least no one should, argue this point. Without much effort, we can discern from what He says in scripture that animals are important to Him. Their treatment and care are important. Their well-being is important.
While some carelessly relegate animals to nothing more than a food source, God deems them of great worth and extends His love and providence to them. From their creation, we can see the hand of God present with them. A brief review of some major milestones and events documented in the Bible verifies this.
Creatures we call animals were introduced in the book of Genesis during the act of creation. They were made the day before mankind and placed in the Garden of Eden. When man came on the scene, they immediately became His companions.
They were not a food source and not beasts of burden. They coexisted with the human in a pristine environment void of fear, disease, and death. There was no predator or prey. Man and beast took sustenance from nature; seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
There were no dangers. There were no injuries or wounds. There was no fear one for the other; all lived in perfect harmony. I have often heard the word tranquility used to describe that first habitat of man and animal. It is most appropriate and fitting as God had intended the place to be exactly that, tranquil. Man and animal in close bond with each other.
The human/animal relationship was unlike anything we know today. As I pointed out in Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates, I believe there was actual oral communication between man and the animals. That is not just a wide-eyed, shot-in-the-dark guess; there is actually strong evidence that this may have been the case. I will discuss this in more detail in a later chapter.
The Garden was a unique place. God had made it for man, but animals were part of it. From the very beginning, God displayed His love and watchful care for what we term His lesser creatures. He emphasized the importance of animals throughout scripture. They are an important part of His creation; His very hands formed them. They are important companions to mankind; helping us in our toils and struggles. They are important to the economy and ecosystems. And the list goes on.
The next significant mention of animals that we come across in scripture is when God clothed Adam and Eve after their sin made them realize they were naked. In Genesis 3:21 we are told that God clothed them in animal skins. Not long after, Abel made an offering unto the Lord of the firstlings of his flock (Genesis 4:4).
The next time animals came into special focus in scripture was at the time of the great deluge or flood. God had Noah build an ark to preserve his family and the variety of animals He would send to enter it.
We all know the story, so I will skip the details and move to the time after the flood. After nearly ten months afloat, the ark came to rest and God made a covenant with Noah to not flood the earth again. God made it a special point to extend that covenant to the animals, a very significant gesture. This shows us that when charting the course of mankind and this world, animals were a major consideration in God's heart and mind.
Strong evidence of God's providential desires for the treatment of animals, even those to be sacrificed, is found throughout the Old Testament books. Social rules and ethics for the humane treatment of animals were established by the Jewish people. Some of the rules instituted brought condemnation to those who mistreated their animals. People were punished for treating their animals badly.
Other passages in the Old Testament allude to the care God gives to His creatures. We are told that what we humans have labeled instinct is not instinct at all, but the providential hand of God. God declares that it is He who clothes the animals, He who tells them when to migrate north or south, and He who provides their sustenance.
Moving ahead to the New Testament, we see other examples of God's tender heart for animals. At the birth of His only begot
Excerpted from Furry Friends forevermore by GARY KURZ. Copyright © 2013 by Gary Kurz. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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