I can imagine one day when Jesus comes, and all is fully redeemed. The animals cages are opened and they all come out for the first time….the factory farms, fur farms, vivisection labs, circus’ and zoos all close down….the animals won’t run from us anymore, or try to hide.
We’ll all be face to face with Jesus, wrapped in his love, for all forces inconsistent with his character won’t exist any longer, just the fullness of his love – no famines, wars, disease; no wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. All forms of idolatry will have been banished from the new earth. Mankind will rule with Christ as our head in Christ’s likeness the way our dominion was created to be – as overseers of the earth and animal kingdom in complete Shalom.
The wild animals will all come out from their hiding places. We’ll all greet one another – people and animals – in joy and in freedom from oppression, fear, pain, suffering, violence of any kind – all that binds us and destroys us and the animal kingdom will no longer be present upon the earth. Mankind will no longer tyrannize. It will be a new earth – the New Jerusalem present at last! He will wipe our tears, and, I would imagine, those of the animals, too. There will be singing and dancing, all will be praising God.
Today, animals face unprecedented oppression for food in factory farms; in all forms of entertainment such as circus’, zoos; in the skin and fur trades for clothing and other products; in hunting and barbaric forms of the practice such as steel jaw traps, legal spine and gut shots, bow hunting; in all matter of sports where animals are used to make money and to ‘entertain’ ourselves, and more (see our Prayer List page for a large list of the ways we oppress them).
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7
“The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” This was just before the flood. According to Jewish tradition, the Flood was in 2104 BCE (the year 1656 in the Jewish reckoning, which is counted from Creation). I can only imagine how deeply troubled the Lord must be today. Our weapons of war, our means of damaging the earth and animal kingdom significantly greater than ever before, given the advent of industrialization, modern technology, modern medicine, GMO’s, cloning, and more.
It appears to me that it particularly grieved his heart to destroy mankind, not only because he loves us with a love that is unimaginably unsurpassable, because it also meant he would have to destroy the animals that he had made. “…and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground…” For he regrets he made mankind, not animals apparently, but mankind.
It’s interesting to me that God would say this. God loves the animals for sure and does not wish to destroy them. It tells us something else about God, and about ourselves, something important.
First, that what God made, and how he made us in particular (in his own image, with free will), is not easily changeable. Of course God is all powerful. God is also love and love cannot defy itself. To do so would not be love. God designed us with all all the factors and inclinations that would make it probable that we would choose to love him in return, listen to his voice, and trust him.
But love also, apparently is not love unless it is chosen. And once something has been created, also perceivably it cannot be undone, unless God is willing to destroy it when it chooses to go wrong. He cannot simply wave his hand and magically change a free will species into one that will follow him. Love is “patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).” So to destroy anything is not an easy choice for God – love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.
Second, it tells us something about ourselves. How incredibly self-centered we are as a whole. How warped and upside down is our understanding of who God is. How little we understand about the creation itself. And how impossible it is for us to discern the knowledge of good and evil when we cannot possibly know all things about all things for all time and from infinity, or perceive how all things work together for all time from all time into infinity. Our job from the beginning was to simply care for the earth and animal kingdom and to trust God.
Now, our limited and warped sense of the knowledge of good and evil brings disaster to that which we had dominion over, to each other, and to God. We cannot manage the responsibilities he gave for the earth. When we don’t agree, we separate into factions; these factions create power struggles; in our attempts to continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we play God; each judges for himself what he thinks is right, and all others must then be wrong. We want control. Apparently at any cost. Just a few examples:
- We create the extreme poverty we see in other countries. Since the Tower of Babel people have been divided by language in particular. We don’t communicate with each other very well, and remain divided by many things, including ethnicity and language. If we were able to break through these barriers, set aside our appetites for greed/gluttony, work together for the good of the whole; were wealthy countries in particular to adopt plant based diets, statistically speaking, we could feed the world with the grain/vegetables that could be produced instead of feeding them to animals to produce flesh foods for ourselves
- We are the ones who create war and groups like gangs that tear each other up; the animal kingdom generally is violent in order to survive
- We create a lot of the weather patterns through factory farm waste, our own use of chemicals and fossil fuels (though Satan is also behind extreme and volatile weather as well. When we believed we could be like God, we handed over dominion of the earth to Satan and took all of creation with us. Certain fallen angels are now in charge of different aspects of creation, like the weather, for one example)
- In our attempts to get life from the things of this world, we shop and consume the planets resources with no thought to the responsibilities we have over the living planet – so that we humans can live as comfortably as possible
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
“Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
And yet, God still sees something in us that is redeemable; he still loves us. So much so, that he decided to send his Son to take our place. He lived the life Adam was supposed to have lived, as an example to all of us; he suffered the rejection we deserved by becoming our sin (sin=all that separates us from God); in the process he defeated Satan’s power, providing the vehicle in which Satan will be defeated entirely, so that one day, we will live free from the Tempter.
Also in this process he gave us the power through the Holy Spirit to live a kingdom life-style now; in fact, this is his plan to redeem us. Through his power we take back the earth from Satan’s reign by living free from judgment, loving unconditionally, treating each other, the earth the animal kingdom the way were supposed to since Eden. This is the way we reflect the kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”
We trust God with a faith like Abraham’s, trust “he will make all things new (and right).” –Revelations 21:5 God is looking for people willing to become the creation he created us to be from the beginning, people who make themselves ready now for his return when he will purify and make all the final transformations necessary for a life in eternity on the new earth with him. He is patient, for he wishes none should perish.
“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8- (Repentance simply means “to turn” – to turn from our self-centered desires and tendencies, idolatresses – all that we try to get life from – meaning our core sense of identity, worth, significance, and security – and to commit ourselves to getting our life from God and God alone)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.…” Proverbs 3:5-7
A little bit of…..
When we intervene in the oppression that makes up the majority of what animals on earth experience now; when we rescue them, create sanctuaries for them, speak up for them, stop eating them (especially those used as food from factory farm settings), stop wearing their skins, stop supporting forms of entertainment/sport that uses them as part of the show, find holistic ways of healing ourselves, nurse them back to health, give them what they need to thrive in the way of habitat, food, shelter, show them mercy, kindness and love – when we are the embodiment of God to them, “putting on love” above all, remembering that “love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres” – we are moving the planet a little closer to being like the kingdom of God.
The coming of our Lord Jesus cannot come soon enough, for me. Relieving all animals of the oppressiveness of our reign is my deepest hearts desire. To see them all finally redeemed, to be able to meet them all, stand amongst them, get to know them for who the Lord made them to truly be when all predatory inclinations (inclinations that were a consequence of the result of our choice in Eden as those who had dominion over them) have been removed for eternity from them – and from all of us – will be a glorious day indeed!
Thank you for visiting our blog and reading this post! We hope you are blessed by it, and will share it with others. Thanks again, your comments are always welcome. ~Kathy
My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to non-human animals and the earth.
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