For anyone who has lost a pet, the emotional experience of the loss is known to catch you by surprise. After time spent falling in love, suddenly a meaningful part of life has ended. It is amazing to me how much a part of my family’s life our collie/lab/chow mix, Bear, truly was. I really wasn’t expecting it. After all, we knew he at best would possibly make it to 18 years. And that’s a stretch for a 50+ lbs doggy! But I’ve gained some insight for those interested. At least it has brought me peace knowing how God sees the situation and how he cares for his creation.
When the Lord required first fruits of the works of his people, it wasn’t just from man alone. Animals were involved in this from the beginning. As the herd and cattle increased, the first born would be dedicated to the services of the Lord. Since the command came to both dedicate man and beast, I am taking it that this was not meant that the first born should be put to death, but rather that they should be consecrated. Numbers 18:15
Both man and beast have redemptive value. They are worth rescuing and being pursued by the Creator who gave them life, which is an incredible honor. Job 12:7-10
Every living thing is said to have a soul. The soul of man, and the soul of beast have been given life by the giver of all good things. Genesis 3:21
When sin entered the lives of God’s creation, he used the skins of animals to cover the shame. He clothed Adam and Eve after the fall in some way. The animals were not meant to be used for just anything. They had a purpose. The animals, whatever these were that produced clothing for Adam and Eve, had a dynamic purpose based on need. Genesis 2:19
In this situation was it only an episode that resulted in naming conventions for animals or was Adam somehow relating with or observing the animals in a way that understood their purpose in order to brand them with an identity. It seems like the latter is true. Psalms 36:6
Man and beast are both preserved in this psalm. It means, literally, thou wilt save. Wherever life is continued and renewed, it is done so by the agency of God. All life is upheld by the sovereignty of its Creator. Romans 8:19
Animals were made subject to us and unfortunately subject to the condition we have left the earth in. They are bound to our fate. They look forward to the day when the new creation comes. The desire God to reveal who is sons and daughters are. They long for a conclusion of this horrible matter, in whatever way they currently understand it. (Probably no better than we do!) Therefore, they must have some part to play in the afterlife when the sons of God will be redeemed. If all souls belong to God, the souls have animals are part of his beautiful grandeur. Proverbs 12:10
Finally, in this proverb it is said that God is concerned for the animals and he is seriously interested in their care. They are not some life that passes without purpose or further use. God has a purpose for them. Of course it is different than our own purpose or of the purpose of mankind. But nonetheless,
God does not create anything without wonder.
These words and findings have helped me to see the life of a beloved pet in a new light. Some pastors have told me that we will be surprised when we enter into the new kingdom. We will see pets we love, people we love. And they will greet us in the kingdom that is to come. There at least seems to be Scriptural precedence for what they are talking about.
In this new kingdom there will be no more decay. And the darkness that separates us for a time, will no longer be an influence. Praise God for being a Creator like no other. I praise him for being a lover like no other. To whom can I compare his love? Its greatness is unfathomable, and applies to all.