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God's Menagerie
Photo: Linda DuBose
Amidst the burgeoning fallout from the nation’s mortgage crisis, a new victim has recently emerged. Added to the increasing number of home owners driven into the streets, their credit in shambles as banks foreclose on their delinquent loans, are their furry, and not so furry friends.

Property inspectors and real estate brokers who enter abandoned houses sometimes find them literally trashed – lights busted, carpets ripped up and holes in the walls! Distressing as that scene must be, worse still are the turtles, rabbits and lizards found in children’s bedrooms, cats in the garage and dogs tied to trees in the backyard. Sadly, many of these animals are too far gone to save.

Other pets are just being dumped on farm lands, or wherever is convenient. Animal shelters are bursting at the seams in some areas of California’s central valley where foreclosure rates are unusually high. And, even horses are being abandoned in the Arizona desert by desperate homeowners facing eviction. Over 500 steeds were found wandering homeless among the sage and cacti in 2007 alone.

Undeserved Plight

I imagine God is filled with compassion for these helpless creatures and their undeserved plight. For throughout the scriptures our Creator used animals, birds and fish in unique ways, as well as, demonstrating the Lord’s special care for them.

In Numbers 22, God opened the mouth of Balaam’s donkey (Yes, he really spoke!), after the stubborn prophet struck his faithful animal three times.

In 1 Kings 17:1-7, God sent ravens to carry in their beaks bread and meat, both morning and evening, to his prophet Elijah who was camped by a brook.

When the prophet Jonah was thrown overboard into the sea after refusing to obey the Lord’s command, God prepared a great fish to swallow him. After three long days, the fish vomited up his tasty morsel onto dry land! Not surprisingly, Jonah immediately obeyed God’s second directive (Jonah 1:17 – 2:10)!

In the book of Exodus (Ch. 23), God commands a Sabbath of rest for the land every seventh year, so that the poor people and the wild animals may freely eat (vs.11). And on the seventh day, God commanded a rest from labor so that the ox and the donkey might rest (vs. 12) as well as the slaves and aliens.

Jesus manifested special care for the ravens in Luke 12:24-25. “Consider the raven: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you then birds!”

Throughout the Bible, the Almighty exhibits love, care and provision for all His creation. But even more precious than the birds and animals in the Lord’s sight, are you and I who are made in God’s image.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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