Scripture states that man was appointed by God to have dominion over the animals. My hypothesis for this blog is therefore everything a man does to an animal; particularly our companion animal is either a lawful exercise of that responsibility, or a sacrilegious abuse, of that authority and responsibility.
- Genesis 1:26-28: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Jesus came to redeem; is it also worth considering that man, made in Gods image and with dominion over the earth and its creatures has a redemptive function to perform as well in that Stewardship ? Man, in creating companion dogs from once wild wolves has already redeemed dogs to lay with the lambs. Additionally, these previously wild, untamed dogs now live together in peace with man. Dogs and man now enjoy each others company and mutually benefit each other in protection, and emotional and physical health and wellbeing.
As to inflicting pain and worse death upon animals in our Stewardship of companion animals. Make no mistake about this point; inflicting pain or killing of mankind’s companion animals is not Gods doing, it is the doing of man the stewards of animals. Will God be pleased with our stewardship when we kill dogs and cats in the “shelters” we have created for their safe keeping?
Killing and pain inflicted upon dogs and cats is therefore not God’s handiwork – but begun by Satan’s malice and perpetuated by man’s desertion of his post and stewardship. What does man inflict upon his fellow man for desertion of his post?
Finally, there is the question of compassion and of justice. We know that dogs are sentient beings…meaning they experience pain and hurt just as man does. Would a good steward purposely inflict pain, or worse death on that which God the father required of man to be a good and wise steward of? If I killed my Fathers dog for no good reason what would my Father think of me? What will God think of those stewards that with no good reason kill his animals?
- Numbers 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me.Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
God has sovereign power over His creation and has delegated the authority to humanity to have dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26,28). However, with the authority to rule comes the responsibility to rule well. There is an inherent accountability in the command to “subdue” the earth. The word subdue means “to gain an intelligent understanding of and mastery over.”
Man is to be the wise steward of the earth; he is to bring the material world and all of its varied elements into the service and good of all people, and he is to do so with love and understanding. Only then will dominion be truly according to God’s command. When God gave us dominion over the animals, it was in order to care for, tend to, and use animals in a just manner. At the time that God gave mankind dominion over the animals, humans did not eat meat (Genesis 1:29). Eating meat did not begin until after the Flood (Genesis 9:1-3). It was at that time that animals then started to fear humans. However, although we now eat “meat,” we still bear a responsibility to care for and to treat animals humanely.
Stewardship over animals does not mean we have the right to mistreat, misuse or indiscriminately kill animals. Stewardship over animals entails a humane management of them as the companions of man God has ordained them to be. We must fulfill our duty to manage the earth and the animals wisely until that time when the wolf shall lie down with the lamb in the kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 11:6).
I passionately believe if God cares for his animals should we not as well? Should we not love them, care for their needs, advocate for their lives and protect them from harm. Loving an animal is a selfless and Godly act. The care and compassion we show an animal entrusted to us is a gauge of ones personal integrity.
Steve Monahan, founder – Green Pets America
“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10)