Put yourself in this place.
56 exotic wild animals are on the loose. It’s dark. People are nearby and could be hurt. What would you do? Would you be careful to save the animals? Would you put people first? Would you consider taking the animals down?
That’s the situation the authorities in Ohio recently faced.
Jack Hannah was called. He went. The first reports that I heard on the news were about the animals that had been put down over in the night, and the search was continuing. In the end, I am not sure if any of the animals were saved.
When interviewed on Fox News, Jack Hannah said that he supported the sheriff’s decision to take the animals down. He explained how people’s lives were endangered. He talked about how it would be impossible to successfully tranquilize and capture these animals in the dark. It was obvious that he wished that there had been another way.
Jack Hannah puts people first. He did not try to encourage the authorities to save the animals at the risk of jeopardizing human life. Instead, he supported their decision. Many lives were potentially saved.
How many times have we heard on the news where people suffered because of the attempts to save the last rare breed of whatever? How many times have we seen the lives of animals portrayed to be equal in value to that of our own?
Consider God’s position on the animals.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
As you can see, God gave man dominion over the animals. The first animals killed in the Bible were killed by God to make clothes for Adam and Eve. Animals were also used for sacrifices.
Having dominion is not to say that we should not be good stewards. Indeed, we should take care of the animals. However, we need to keep things in proper perspective.
Today’s challenge is to keep good stewardship in perspective. We are to be good stewards, but we also need to keep in mind that people come first. It should be obvious, but I’ll state it again this way. People and animals are not equal. We need to value human lives more. Ask God to show you what importance you place on people and on animals. In the situation I referenced earlier, there were folks who had trouble understanding the decision to put the animals down. Ask God to give you His perspective when it comes to choosing between people and animals.