While we believe such sentiments have merit, we also recognize that God, Himself, loves animals! He fancies their beauty and, as Pastor W. A. Criswell recognizes, “God has shown a penchant for varieties of life forms, and it would be difficult to imagine that this would not be perpetuated in the heavenlies.”[v] Indeed, we find that God values His living artistry so much that He even made some of the angelic beings to reflect the animal’s faces (see Revelation 4:6–8; Ezekiel 10:14). In addition to their artistic value, God loves the company of these creatures to the point that not even a tiny sparrow falls to the ground that He doesn’t account for (Matthew 10:29). Another amazing example of God’s concern for animals comes from the story of Jonah, in which it appears that the people of Nineveh were spared destruction because God wanted to have mercy on their children and animals (see Jonah 4:11)! Of course, to the delight of my wife, Nita, God is an equestrian and has already filled Heaven with lots and lots of horses (Revelation 6:2–8; 19:11; 2 Kings 6:17). His Son, Jesus, will even return someday on one such horse (Revelation 19:11–14).
It is further written in the Bible that:
God holds the lives of animals in His hands (Job 12:10).
He, Himself, feeds them (Psalms 104:21–30; Matthew 6:26).
They were created for His enjoyment (Revelation 4:11).
God never forgets about them (Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6).
People who mistreat their pets are judged by Him as “cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
Those who treat their pets kindly are called “righteous” (Proverbs 12:10).
Based on the following Scriptures, we also learn how the coming millennial reign of Christ will see animals restored to their pre-fallen conditions, and little children will be leading them about:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6–9)
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