Recently I saw one of those YouTube videos that exposes the unfathomable cruelty and torture we humans inflict on God's precious creatures. It is extremely difficult for someone like me to watch videos like that and I usually cannot bring myself to do it. It is a very painful and heart-breaking experience.
Anyway, in the comments to that video there was a passage from the pen of inspiration which spoke to my heart and which I will share below. Let it be a grave warning to those who would dare to bring such pain to the animals over which we have been given dominion.
"God, who created man, made the animals, also. They were to minister to man’s comfort and happiness, to serve him, and to be controlled by him. But this power was not to be used to cause pain by harsh punishment or cruel exaction.
Yet some are as reckless and unfeeling toward their faithful animals as though the poor brutes had not flesh and nerve that can quiver with pain. Many do not think that their cruelty will ever be known, because the poor dumb beasts cannot reveal it. But could the eyes of these men be opened, as were the eyes of Balaam, they would see an angel of God standing as a witness to testify against them in the courts above. A record goes up to Heaven, and a day is coming when judgment will be pronounced against men who make themselves demons by their dealings with God’s creatures.
If animals could speak, what deeds of horror would be revealed—what tales of suffering, because of the perversity of man’s temper! How often those creatures of God’s care suffer pain, endure hunger and thirst, because they cannot make known their wants. And how often is it determined by the mercy or the caprice of man, whether they receive attention and kindness, or neglect and abuse.
Punishment given in passion to an animal is frequently excessive, and is then absolute cruelty. Animals have a kind of dignity and self-respect, akin to that possessed by human beings." - Signs of the Times, November 25, 1880.
Unless you think such a sentiment can not be found in the Bible...
"A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." - Proverbs 12:10
If you do not regard the life of your animals...God says you are not a righteous man.
"And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?" - Jonah 4:11
Can you see in that Scripture that God cares for animals?
"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." - Genesis 1:26-31
"Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." - Genesis 2:19, 20
Can you see in those Scriptures that God has placed His creatures into our care, just like He's placed His planet into our care? It is a divine privilege...and a divine responsibility.
"For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine." - Psalm 50:10, 11
Take a guess what the foundational principle is on which we build our doctrine of how we should relate to animals? Of course...love.
God is an animal lover, shouldn't we be?