I love how God is inclusive and I found it interesting in verses 8-11 that God included every living creature in his covenant to never destroy all life by flood again.
At the end of the day, out of all God made, it was humankind that messed things up. It wasn’t the animals who’s ‘inclination of the heart was only evil all the time’, yet they suffered along with humanity as the flood waters rose and 'everything on dry land that had breath in its nostrils died.
It wasn’t the animals or the plant life that sinned. It was a man and woman. And because of that, as Paul puts it in Romans, creation groans as it waits in eager expectation for its liberation from its bondage to decay, to be brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
When God instructed Adam to rule over every living creature and to fill the earth and subdue it, the earth and all it contained became subject to Adam’s rule, for better or worse. His responsibility was quite phenomenal, and unfortunately for the planet, humanity’s rule opened the door for death and decay. I wonder if Adam and Eve could have seen into the future, would their choice in the garden have been different? According to the genealogies, God waited till Adam died before wiping out every living creature. Whether God’s act of grace was that He delayed His judgement during Adam’s lifetime or that Adam did not die in the flood, we don’t know. What we do know is that Adam’s choices affected the whole of humanity and the whole of creation.
Our choices too have impact on the planet we live on, albeit not so cataclysmic perhaps for the individual, but collectively we understand the negative effect humans have on our God given green earth. From plastic islands in the ocean the size of the state of Texas, to household rubbish dumped on someone else’s property, from ‘global warming’, to tossing our trash out the car window, our rule has an effect we can’t run away from. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a personal ‘green agenda’ message. But perhaps if individually we chose to be more inclusive, taking after our loving Father and caring for the earth and animals around us, we may collectively make a different kind of impact, one that brings life and the love of Jesus into our environment?
Do you have animals in your care or know someone’s pet? Take the time to bless them and remember God has a covenant with them too.