“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
Wicked and Cruel
I will never forget a particular video I saw posted on YouTube. The owner of a large python purchased a fluffy, brown rabbit and brought it home. There, in his living room, he let this peaceful, tame rabbit meant to be a pet hop around while his sorry snake got closer and closer.
Snickering with anticipation, the owner of the snake filmed the unwary rabbit as it got accustomed to its new environment. Then, it happened – the python struck, coiled around the rabbit, and began its death squeeze. But what made me sick, as I am sure it did God, was when the snake’s owner got up close to the rabbit and laughed. He laughed because the rabbit cried.
There is a Difference
It is one thing to kill an animal for food, or even in self-defense. It is even understandable to kill animals when their populations get out of hand. But it is something totally different when a human is intentionally cruel to something helpless and trusting.
This proverb says that “a righteous man regardeth (knows, cares about) the life” of his animal. In contrast, the wicked are cruel. But some may wonder, “What does it matter?” It matters to the one who values life.
“His Eye Is On the Sparrow…”
It might surprise people to know that God cares about the lives of animals. When Jonah was upset because God did not destroy Nineveh, God said unto him,
“And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” – Jonah 4:11
Literally, the last words of God in the story of Jonah concerned the cattle of a pagan city. If God cared about these cattle, does it not stand to reason that He might disapprove of torturing pets? Remember, not a sparrow falls without Him knowing (Matt. 10:29).
This is the thing: let there be no mistake, if a human can find enjoyment in the suffering of helpless animals, then what is to keep him from harming helpless humans? Wickedness breeds wickedness.
Father God, help us to treat all life with respect, for it is You who created life. You made Man in the image of Yourself, but you also made all creation for your pleasure. Help us to be mindful and caring, not wicked and cruel. And thank you, Lord, for if you care about the beasts of the field, then how much more do you care for your children?