In Matthew 16:1-4 Jesus levelled a blistering accusation against the leaders of Israel. They could tell the day’s weather by looking at the sky. They couldn’t understand the change he brought to history by living among them. That problem only burgeoned in the centuries after him. And in the 20th and 21st centuries became international.
While the classification of the animal kingdom is as ancient as 1500 B.C., Leviticus 11 leaves no doubt God ordered Israel to distinguish between clean and unclean animals in their diet. He was always central to all Hebrew life and its activities.
Our society instead eliminates God and exalts the environment and its creatures. A Parade Magazine article, June 24, 2018, highlighted our national parks. It covered the spectrum: from the quietest to the driest; where you could see the most birds, including the smallest owls in the world, so cute they’re “almost painful”; where a broad range of wildlife existed, including bears; where you could see the brightest stars, etc.
So enamored are we of nature that we call attention to kindness to creatures: a mother duck leading her brood across a busy road, everyone stopping to permit it. Or, in Virginia, a rattlesnake crossing an intersection had the privilege of a cop stopping traffic both ways until it cleared. San Diego U-T, 6/24/18.
We think nothing of it when policemen put their lives on the line to protect the public—as happened in San Diego College area Saturday night, June 23, 2018. A violent criminal shot two officers when they entered his condo. Fortunately, neither suffered fatal wounds. In the mind of the public, cops are expected to die if necessary when confronting bad guys. It’s in their job description. But “oh how swell” when they unexpectedly protect the creatures.
Is there so much fascination with creation that we have no interest in appreciating God, the Creator? Will we continue to think of creation as an end in itself rather than God’s handiwork to make living on earth pleasant, not just survivable? And will we never stop to think that, at God’s command, all that’s here will one day disappear? -End Part I-