Animals among God’s many gifts to man
Published 11:00 pm Friday, February 17, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: We live in a pet-crazed society and it’s good for my business since I’m a veterinarian. But while I’d do anything for the animal kingdom, I won’t worship it. I also teach a Bible class and am shocked to see how people are convincing themselves that animals have souls. No one is teaching that man is trichotomous and animals are dichotomous, yet there are people who claim the Bible teaches that animals are equal to mankind. – A.C.
Dear A.C.: God’s creation story is the first miraculous account in the Bible, which includes His creation of animals — a snapshot of His original handiwork: “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind…. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:24–25). But the Bible is clear that only mankind was created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27).
God gave animals to us for a purpose, because in the days of Noah, God preserved every kind of animal on the ark so they would inhabit the land again. Animals are among God’s many diverse gifts to man. Who doesn’t smile while watching chimpanzees mimic one another?
We boast of “man’s best friend” because a faithful dog will protect its owner at all cost. Fish are a source of food, and we love to envision Jesus sharing broiled fish with His disciples (Luke 24:42–43). We marvel to think of Jesus riding the colt of a donkey into Jerusalem — and we wait breathlessly for His appearance on a white horse from Heaven (Revelation 19:11). Scripture speaks of the day that the wolf will live with the lamb. In that day, death and evil will be destroyed, perfect peace will reign, and everything that has breath will praise Him (Psalm 150:6). But the Bible makes clear that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, sacrificing Himself on the cross for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)