If we accept the Biblical account of creation, God, Father of Jesus Christ gave man responsibility for taking care of animals. This meant guiding of animals towards achievement of their specific purposes.
It does not take much cognition or rationality for arrival at the recognition that if we call evil ‘sin’, there is much sin in the world. In presence of sin, one wonders whether we have any true cognizance of purposes animals would serve in a world totally devoid of sin.
In a world laden with sin, man would ensure speedy, big horses are not used for pulling of plows, are applied towards war and certain types of sports. Would ensure big powerful horses are used for leisurely travel from home to the village or town square, or for pulling of plows. Man would ensure sprightly speedy horses live for either of leisure riding, long distance travel, or racing.
In a world laden with sin, man realizes it is abuse to demand speed from a horse characterized by bulging shoulders and huge hoofs, whose body is designed for pulling of weights.
But would man have needed plows, or needed to plow in a world devoid of sin?
The creation account in Genesis is clear Adam never had to till for food until himself and Eve sinned. Clearly then, powerful horses for tilling of the ground or pulling of plows would not have been needed in a world devoid of sin.
In a world without sin, there would not be any racing competitions that generate money for winners. There goes then some of the purpose for those sprightly fast horses. Come to think of it, in a world devoid of sinfulness, there probably would not be any need for money, period.
If not handled correctly, it would seem Christian Scriptures direct man to learn from animals.
In Proverbs 6:6, King Solomon famously declared,
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider it’s ways and be wise (NIV).
The problem with the text above, it is directed at persons who ought to know better. The advice is not for all men, only for those who reasonably ought to know better — sluggards. The wise king (who rather unfortunately chose to dabble with sin much later in life) is of the opinion that if sluggards would not perceive importance of diligence from commonality of human existence, observation of ants perhaps could ‘shame’ them into diligence.
In this regard, consider that the Prophet Balaam, a prophet who got greedy for money was rebuked by an angel for not seeing glory his donkey was able to perceive (Numbers 22:24–34, note verse 33 in particular). In the rebuke from the angel, there is evidence this order of things was abnormal, which is, a donkey arriving at better perception of spiritual glory than a man.
Incongruities implicit in any attempts at learning from animals are evident in the following contradictions of Christian living.
If man derives cliches for living of life from lions, strength is demonstrated primarily for feeding and protection of loved ones. The rest of the time is spent sleeping, lying down, or playing. If man learns from lions, polygamy trumps monogamy every day of the week, every decade, every century.
But Elders of Christian assemblies are supposed to be husbands of only one wife, and are expected to devote time to development of their capacity for teaching truth as it is in Jesus Christ (Titus 1:6,9).
If man derives cliches for living of life from horses, the males do not stay around. They provide the sperm necessary for babies, go about their business. All children are raised by mothers. Males spend all of their time having fun (playing games and sports) with other males knowing when mating season arrives, they end up with the best of both worlds.
But are Christian men not expected to cleave to (love) their wives and raise their children to be godly (Ephesians 5:25; Titus 1:6)?
If man derives cliches for living of life from Baboons and Gorillas, and Elephants, family is important, family stays together, family loves one another. In this context, it is not only family that love one another, but it is the case that entire communities function on love. Adult animals look out for younger ones, even those that are not theirs.
But Baboons, Gorillas, and Elephants are not created in image of God, do not have opportunity to become like Jesus Christ in character, essence, and glory (Genesis 1:26; John 1:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).
While man is not expected to learn from animals, peculiarities of each and every animal declare the glory and wisdom of a loving, benevolent, Creator (Psalm 97:6).
What then are
safeguards of Christian living?
The essence of the Christian faith is, God came to earth in human form to show what man ought to be, which is, beings who live by aspiration, purpose, and love for others.
Jesus’ aspiration was to teach His disciples everything they needed to know if they were to be effective after He was gone (John 9:5; Matthew 5:14). In John 1:12, He articulated righteous aspiration to be an important cornerstone of life.
Jesus’ purpose while on earth was to fulfill His aspiration, die, be resurrected, and ascend back to heaven. In Ephesians 2:10, importance of purpose is articulated.
Jesus fulfilled His purpose and aspirations in context of giving of Himself — His love — fully to 12 men, 11 of whom alongside Apostle Paul went on to change the world. In John 15:12, Jesus declared the imperative of ‘love for oneself and others’ as part of essence of right living.
If there is a loving Creator, He alone is worth turning to for lessons on right living of life.
Jesus and guidance of His Holy Spirit are the only sure safeguards for authentic righteous Christian Living.
Since you can learn from those who already have learned from the Creator, people who can point to source of their knowledge, who can validate their knowledge with rational thought and relevant experiences, it is the case that whenever you learn from godly knowledgeable men, you indirectly learn from the Creator.
Would you rather wait 20 years to get to the front of the line, be able to interact intimately with God for arrival at knowledge that blows your mind, or is it better to learn from those who already made it to the front of the line, who share what they know with integrity?
Why does it take time to get to the front of the line to interact with God? After all, God is supposed to have capacity for teaching of 7 billion people at the same time.
True, God, Father of Jesus Christ possesses capacity for teaching of 7 billion people at the same time.
The question my friend is, “how many of those 7 billion people already have sufficient preparation for gazing into God’s loving eyes at front of the line?”
“How many already truly can enjoy God’s warm embrace?” “When God’s loving eyes rest on you, which will you remember, your love, or your hatred?”
“Would you rather spend 20 years learning to purge your hatreds so you can stand at front of the line, or will you learn how to love from those who already made it to the front of the line?”
“If only those who learn to love make it to the front of the line (John 13:34–35; 14:21), it is wise to seek to understand how to love while yet seeking to get to the front of the line.”
If we understand from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or holy men who have learnt from Jesus and His Holy Spirit exactly how to live with aspiration, purpose and love, we are well on our way to arrival at rightmost living.