June 10, 2010
(Written in Edmonton, while visiting my newest little grandson who was born June 3! Check out details at New grandson!)
I never really noticed before that the covenant marked by the rainbow, to never again flood the earth and destroy all flesh - was between God and EVERY LIVING CREATURE OF ALL FLESH that is on the earth."
So yes, man "ruled over" the living things (Gen 1:26), and named each creature (Gen 2:19); and after the flod, God gave all creatures to man as food (previously only the plants were given as food - Gen 9:13), which included the statement that "the fear... and terror of you will be in every beast... bird... everything that creeps... all the fish" (Gen 9:2). But clearly, all the creatures, not just man, were included in that covenant. So clearly they also have great value as living things in God's eyes.
And therefore mankind needs to respect them and care for them and live in harmony with them!
(Likewise, with the plants of the ground, which man was to cultivate. Hmmm... man was called to "subdue" and "fill the earth" (Gen 1:28). The earth, then, must have been in a wild/ wilderness state at the start. God Himself planted the garden - after the "creation." Not something I ever heard discussed much! I think I always assumed (perhaps was taught? memories of those childhood "Bible story books" ...) that the garden was maybe part of the initial creation - or if not, that perhaps it was similarly "spoken into existence" ... but the word says it was PLANTED by God Himself. Intentionally, carefully, lovingly, for the enjoyment and care of His newly created (or rather, formed-by-the-hand-and-breath-of-God) children! Oh, and what about the ground being cursed in Gen 3:17? If the garden was as perfect as the Bible story books picture it, why was man called to "subdue" it - or was the garden only meant as a starting place - that man could go out of and expand it by cultivating the land beyond it - and return from time to time to eat from the tree of life...? Interesting... so many things we glibly quote and accept, without really wondering what they really mean...)