Genesis 2:19 and a Portrait of a Dog, Bellevue, Nebraska.
“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 2:19
I am going to go a little longer today, but you will probably want to read it. I have something personal I want to share with you.
People and Animals: Created for Relationship
Genesis 2 tells us that in His original creation, God created animals with the purpose of having a relationship with people. When Adam and Eve sinned, they corrupted those relationships and eventually the fear of man entered all animals (Genesis 9). Yet even with the corruption of sin, people still sought relationships with animals. It’s part of who we are and how both people and animals were created. As a result, we have forged strong bonds between some animals such as dogs.
The dog in this photo belonged to my family and me. We got him over 15 years ago and my wife and I named him Montana because of our fondness for the state.
He was our dog because God placed it in the human heart to have relationships with animals. He was friendly to every person he met, loved to hunt and to be outside. He stood guard over our garden from any critter who dared enter our backyard. For his efforts, we rewarded him with peas, peppers, strawberries, asparagus and other produce from our garden that he loved to eat.
Two More Bible Verses
Before I tell you more about our dog Montana, I want to quote two more Bible passages. “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:28
Romans 8:19-21, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (ESV)”
Genesis 1:28 (and 1:26) tells us that God made us stewards over the rest of His creatures and He gave us responsibility over them. The passage in Romans tells us that all creation suffering is due to human sin and creation looks forward to the day that its suffering will end.
Relationship and Biblical Responsibility
The morning of August 11, 2023, my family practiced our Biblical responsibility over our dog Montana, with whom we had a loving relationship with, and set him free from his suffering.
Shortly after 1 AM that morning, my wife and I were awakened by a thud in the kitchen. When we got there our dog was struggling to get up. It turns out he was in the midst of a violent seizure. As he moved around uncontrollably his head flopped. I grabbed him and held him. I didn’t want his head to strike the floor. I struggled to hold it as he thrashed about for more than 15 minutes. The seizure finally calmed down but lingered on through minor tremors and rapid eye movement for another 20 minutes. Those eventually stopped.
Our kids woke up with the commotion and saw him lying on some towels on the kitchen floor. They asked what happened. We told them. Fortunately, they didn’t see him suffer the seizure.
We took the top off his kennel and placed him inside it and put him next to our couch. I stayed on the couch with my hand on his head the rest of the night. He laid there with his eyes opened just looking around. He never went to sleep (nor did I). He just stayed there and looked around and sometimes moved his head a bit but did not move much.
The long seizure left him completely immobile. He never recovered. At 7:30 am My wife, kids and I gently loaded his kennel in our SUV and brought him to the vet. Shortly after 8 AM, the vet gave him an injection to free him from his body and he was gone. He was less than one month shy of being 16-years old.
In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul says creation waits “in hope” that it will obtain “the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” When the Apostle Paul uses the word hope (ektihemi in the original Greek) in reference to eternity, he proclaims that hope is in something that will definitely happen. (Colossians 1: 5, 23, 27). He tells us in Romans that the creation waits to live free again in relationship with the children of God. After all, that was God’s original purpose in Genesis 2.
Because of these Bible verses and because God is just and loving, I believe my family and I will see our Montana again. When we do, he will be set free from his bondage and suffering and living in glory with the children of God. Amen and Praise God.
If you ever lost a beloved pet, take “hope” in these Bible verses as we do.
John Wesley and animals in Eternity and here’s a deep article.
Animals in Heaven
The Bible Answer Man Broadcast
Jim Daly of Foucon the Family
Animals and Souls
Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven