Many of you know that I have had, for many years, the great joy of dog sitting when friends go away for their vacations. I love giving their pets a vacation of their own in my home. We are up at daybreak, take off for the fields where squirrels jump from tree to tree. We go along country lanes where there are a thousand smells for any dog nose to sniff and enjoy. (I call it a dog’s way of reading the daily papers) These dogs give me the greatest of joy.
This week, two of my dear dogs, Rasta and Katie, came to a point where it was needed that they leave this earth. I was with them both, along with their owners, at the vets as they took their last breaths, falling peacefully away into sleep. Oh, the tears that accompanied those departures! Yes, it has been a very sad week.
However, as in every time of difficulty in life, I willed myself to turn to God’s own Word for comfort; as always, I found it. I went to the verses that assure me that, just as I will see human loved ones in heaven, one day I will see animal loved ones, too. Not sure about that? Well, I encourage you to neither accept or reject my word. Look instead at what God says. His Word is the only absolute. For those of you who are animal lovers like me, be blessed with the following from God’s own Word:
“Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.” Psalm 36:6
“Creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21
“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this. In whose hand is the life (soul) of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10 NOTE: In the original text, the word translated “life” is actually the word, soul.
“To every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life (soul), I have given every green herb for food, and it was so.” Genesis 1:30 NOTE: Once again, in the original text, the word translated “life” is actually the word, soul.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb. The leopard shall lie down with the young goat. The calf and the young lion and the fatling together. And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox…they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:6-9 NOTE: This is a word of prophecy of things to come when Jesus has returned to earth to make all things new, holy, and without sin.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.” Revelation 19:11
“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all them that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” Revelation 5:13
What a wonderful picture comes to my mind in the above verse: not only will mankind be praising God in heaven — but every creature, too. Oh, what joy when every living, breathing, being, will one day call out their praises to the One who loves them so much.
Lest anyone misunderstand — animals having a soul does not mean they share the fellowship of salvation as mankind does with Jesus. It was mankind who messed up the perfect order of God’s world through their own sinful choice. Their disobedience to God brought about a terrible result that cursed the whole earth and every living thing in it. Man is therefore offered a way of salvation, a way to be redeemed, to be cleansed and made holy before God. Mankind is given the privilege of becoming children of God, with all the rights of sons and daughters.
Animals did not choose to sin against God; only mankind was given that privilege and intellect to make that choice. Animals were innocent bystanders. Therefore, they are promised continued life in heaven, and will praise God along with every created being that has breath to praise.