I have heard it said recently, “God does not care about one lion.”. I beg to differ. The earth and all that is in it is a masterpiece created by the hand of God and there is nothing that was created that was created by accident. From the book of Matthew it is said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”. So if God has His eyes trained on each and every sparrow, how much more is a sentient lion with offspring and emotions worth? Or for that matter, an elephant or rhino or monkey in a cage at a testing lab terrorized every day for it’s entire miserable life?
From the very first man Adam, it has been the responsibility of man to name and care for the animal kingdom and we are not doing a very good job of it. According to the Washington Post, lion populations in Africa have been reduced from 100,000 to 32,000 in fifty years. The Guardian quotes Dune Ives regarding elephant populations, “This species could be extinct in our lifetime, within one or two decades, if the current trend continues,” Dune Ives, senior researcher at Vulcan, a philanthropic organisation run by US billionaire Paul Allen, said. “In five years we may have lost the opportunity to save this magnificent and iconic animal.” Many other predator species including America’s treasured wolves and wild cats are rapidly headed for extinction at the hands of poachers and trophy hunters. These animals are important to their Creator and to the environment itself. When too many of them are killed the species lower on the food chain tend to overpopulate causing habitat destruction and sometimes even rampant disease affecting both animal and human populations. Even though the current outpouring of grief is for one animal who endured terrible suffering for a day, the bigger issue is the massacre of wildlife that cannot be replaced once extinct.
I have heard the animal rights activists who were broken hearted over Cecil called wimps for their grief over “one lion”. Would be somehow be tougher and more manly if we were impervious to the suffering of one of God’s creatures forced to endure an entire day of agony from having been wounded by a trophy hunter’s errant arrow? Even if no human being cared about the “one lion”, the God who makes sure that not one sparrow falls to the ground without Him was with him every step of the way. God cares for the “one lion”, all the wildlife on the continents, the Marines killed at Chatanooga and the millions of babies murdered in the slaughter houses of Planned Parenthood. His love is not limited to one species, one race of people or people of a certain age. And He has appointed watchmen to care for it all, some for the animals, some for the babies, some for the poor and some for the sick. Recently hundreds flocked to the Salt River to save a band of beloved wild horses. Are they somehow evil because the did not instead flock to Chattanooga to mourn for the Marines killed there? Of course not, they answered the call of their Creator and sprang into emergency action and saved the herd. Thank God for those who can still hear the call when it comes.
In the end, the Bible predicts that mankind will not be able to gain control of his hatred and greed. He will unleash his weapons of destruction to destroy the earth and it’s inhabitants, but God will not have forgotten His precious creation and will finally take vengeance on those who destroy it. From the book of Revelation, “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”. Best not to be on the wrong side on that day.