|Spring calves in Central Minnesota (2000)|
From Arthur Pink: “God Governs IRRATIONAL CREATURES.”
What a striking illustration of God's government over the animal kingdom is found in Genesis 2:19! …God's control of the beasts was again openly displayed at the Flood. Mark how God caused to "come unto" Noah, every species of living creature, (Genesis 6:19, 20). All were beneath God's sovereign control. The lion of the jungle, the elephant of the forest, the bear of the polar regions; the ferocious panther, the untameable wolf, the fierce tiger; the high-soaring eagle and the creeping crocodile--see them all in their native fierceness, and yet, quietly submitting to the will of their Creator, and coming two by two into the ark!
|Fuzzy cow in Ohio (Winter 2005)|
We referred to the plagues sent upon Egypt as illustrating God's control of inanimate matter; let us now turn to them again to see how they demonstrate His perfect ruler-ship over irrational creatures. At His word the river brought forth frogs abundantly, and these frogs entered the palace of Pharaoh and the houses of his servants and, contrary to their natural instincts, they entered the beds, the ovens and the kneading troughs! (Exodus 8:13). Swarms of flies invaded the land of Egypt, but there were no flies in the land of Goshen! (Exodus 8:22). Next, the livestock were stricken and we read, " Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel.” (Exodus 9:3-6).
In like manner God sent clouds of locusts to plague Pharaoh and his land, appointing the time of their visitation, determining the course and assigning the limits of their destructions.
|Roadside steer in Ohio (Fall 2007)|
Angels are not the only ones who do God's bidding. The brute beasts equally perform His pleasure. The sacred ark, the ark of the covenant, is in the country of the Philistines. How is it to be brought back to its homeland? Mark the servants of God's choice, and how completely they were beneath His control: " Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us." And what happened? How striking the sequel! The cows went straight up the road to Beth-Shemesh. They stayed on that one highway, lowing as they went; they never strayed to the right or to the left! (1 Sam. 6:12).
Equally striking is the case of Elijah: "Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah--Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." (1 Kings 17:2-4). The natural instinct of these birds of prey was held in subjection, and instead of consuming the food themselves, they carried it to Jehovah's servant in his solitary retreat!
Is further proof required? then it is ready to hand. God makes a dumb donkey to rebuke the prophet's madness. He sends forth two female bears from the woods to devour forty-two of Elijah's tormentors. In fulfillment of His word, He causes the dogs to lick up the blood of the wicked Jezebel. He seals the mouths of Babylon's lions when Daniel is cast into the den, though, later, He causes them to devour the prophet's accusers. He prepares a great fish to swallow the disobedient Jonah and then, when His ordained hour struck, compelled it to vomit him forth onto dry land. At His bidding a fish carries a coin to Peter for tax money! In order to fulfill His word, He makes the rooster to crow twice after Peter's denial. Thus we see that God reigns over irrational creatures: beasts of the field, birds of the air, fish of the sea--all perform His sovereign bidding.
“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”