Focal Passages: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 2:15-17; 3:6-7, 14-19, 23-24
My family and I are blessed to live in the country and enjoy several animals, including a dog, cats, chickens, ducks, goats and a guinea. No matter how much I enjoy caring for animals, none of them are my children. When I get older I won’t have a granddog. While Christians may choose to use such terminology comically, we must never cross the line that says, “Animals are people, too!” Only humans are created in the image of God which gives them the capacity to know Him and worship Him. Although I baptized a few cats in our kiddie pool when I was a child, I never saw the first convert!
We as people are the highest part of creation, yet animals can help us see our carnality and selfishness. Have you ever watched a duck eat? As a father of four, I thought I’d seen mealtime messes. You can give a duck the purest water available and he will turn it to slop in seconds. Because he needs to rinse his sinuses and wash down his meal, the duck will ruin the water he shares with every other animal. Why? He’s looking out for Number One! Adam and Eve chose to love themselves more than God and consequently rejected His law and attempted to write their own. They fell into Satan’s trap and reaped a harvest of spiritual separation and judgment. They hid in shameful nakedness and tried to blame God and Satan instead of accepting their own guilt.
A choice that was supposed to make them wise and God-like broke their perfect fellowship with God and with each other – yet there is hope! In the midst of pronouncing the curse, God shared the first evangelistic message: The serpent’s head would be crushed by the seed of the woman, Jesus Christ! Adam’s sin tainted the spiritual water for all mankind, but by faith in Christ we have access to “the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17). I recently saw a church sign that summarized these truths: God formed. Sin deformed. Jesus transforms!