Our Wonderful Animal Kingdom
There is an increasing tendency for people to elevate animals to the level of humans. This article explains the error of that practice.
The Divide Between Humans And Animals
This article is my response to a blog post I recently read on the internet. The writer queried why animals do not worship God as humans do. I thought that was a very good observation which deserves a good answer.
I preface my answer to the worship question with a sincere praise for the animal kingdom. The human race benefits greatly from the animal realm. They are a source of pleasure, help and living. A world without animals is unimaginable. Nevertheless, animals have their place in this world while humans have another which begs understanding.
Now to our question: Why do animals not worship God? There is a single fundamental reason why animals do not engage in worship as humans do. Animals were created with no awareness of Creator God therefore have no need to worship Him. Read carefully what the Bible says about the creation of humans - mankind.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
Man (humans) was made in the likeness of God their Creator. This is not said of the animal creation in Genesis 1:24-25. Having been created in the likeness of God man has an innate consciousness of God which prompts him to seek and worship God. Animals have no such inclination.
What is this “image” of God that humans possess and animals lack? I think this image is two-fold. First, man is like God in that he is an eternal being - an eternal spirit. Here are the words of King Solomon.
“Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Ecclesiastes 3:21 Again Solomon writes, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7
These verses tell us that the spirit of life in animals cease completely at death which means that animals DO NOT go to heaven or hell. Only the spirit of man (humans) returns to God who created it. He will deal with those returning spirits at death according to how they lived their lives on earth in relation to Him.
The second aspect of the “image” of God which we bear pertains to our soul. The soul comprises those intangible elements which define and drive each individual - intellect, emotion and will. God endued humans with these qualities making us like Him and forming a relationship. These God-like qualities (intellect, emotion and will) which relate us to God also makes us moral creatures - morally responsible to God. Animals do not have this moral relationship with their Creator whom they know not.
It ought to be clear to us now that animals do not worship as humans do because Creator God purposely created them differently than humans? Animals are not conscious of God therefore have no urge to worship.
While we are on the subject of animals I feel compelled to address this issue. There is a growing trend today to elevate the animal kingdom to that of humanity - to make them equal to humans. That is more than simply an error of ignorance. It is sinful because it mocks God’s order of creation.
First off, God intended for mankind to rule the animal kingdom thereby establishing mankind as the superior form of life. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Man’s dominion over the animal kingdom is not a license, however, to mistreat or abuse them. I believe that those who mistreat animals don’t know the God who created them and they will receive just punishment. Even so, the animal kingdom has been subjected to mankind by Creator God.
Customarily animals are being valued the same as mankind in importance. Increasingly animals are being treated like humans. Such foolishness results from a lack of knowledge of God and His word. While speaking to His disciples Jesus related how God was aware of every life be it animal or human. Then He said,
“Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
Jesus placed infinitely more value on humans than He did birds or all animals. Why? The value of humans lies with their eternal soul which animals do not have. Every eternal soul - every human being - will spend an eternity either in heaven or hell. Not so with the animals which makes them of lesser value.
Yes, we can thank God for the animals and enjoy them but we should not humanize them in any way.