September 21

We’re Not Animals

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Psalm 8:5-6 For You have made [man] a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet….

There are some things that should never have to be written. Today’s devotional is one of them. But as our culture is sliding so quickly away from both Biblical truth and common sense, it seems necessary to say what shouldn’t have to be said.

We are not animals. We are created in God’s image. Our life came from God Himself. Yes, we’ve fallen into sin as a race and have twisted and perverted that image, but it remains. We are made from on high, not from beneath. According to His word, He used the dust of the earth to create our physical bodies. But we were heaven’s idea, and we are a heavenly creation.

Of course God made the rest of creation. But we are the only species said to be made in His image, reflecting God’s very self. We are also the only species to which He has given dominion over the earth. No other species has that call. Common sense alone shows us that we are the most intelligent of species, and have proven to be the only ones that can take, and have ever taken, dominion. We have sinned, and have fallen, but have not lost our identity.

Some can rant and rave about how we are equal to other animals. What dangers lie there! We are not to look down to animals to see how we ought to relate, think, and live. We are to look heavenward, to God, and to those things He’s given us—His Spirit, His word, His church. These are the things that give us context and direction, not other species. We have been made a little lower than the angels, not a little higher than the animals.

Our models can never be other creatures with which we share body types, air, food and space. Our model is God Himself, given human form in Jesus Christ. He is the One we look to, knowing full well that we fall far short, and being ever grateful for His forgiveness, mercy and restoring grace.

We are called to treat our animals well (Proverbs 12:10), and to properly steward that over which we hold dominion. But even failing those things, we are still set above all creation, made in His image, looking upward. We can enjoy, rescue, and eat animals. But we look to God for how we are to act and even think of ourselves.

Prayer: Father, help me to stay near to what You say in Your word about me as a human being. Thank You for making us a little lower than the angels, and above all other creation. May I be a good and proper steward of all that I must steward, and may I be grateful for being in Your image, living above creation and under You.

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