And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:9-11)
God Has A Covenant With Animals
The flood in the days of Noah was a global death sentence to all flesh, man and animal alike. God had warned Noah of the impending doom and the finality of its destruction upon the world. The flood was on the earth for forty days and rose above the highest mountains by more than twenty feet. All flesh on earth died. Every person outside the ark perished. The birds, cattle, beasts, and every creature, large and small, died. Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died, including dinosaurs. The flood wiped out every living thing on the earth. The only people who survived were the eight souls in the ark.
After more than a year inside the ark, the floods abated, and Noah and his family were able to walk on dry land again. Noah made an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and every clean bird and offered them as a burnt offering to the Lord. God smelled the soothing aroma of the sacrifice and told Noah as long as the earth remained, there would be seasons of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night (so much for global warming theories). The world changed when God placed the fear of man on the animals for the first time. God allowed man to eat meat, provided it did not contain its lifeblood. Then God spoke to Noah and his sons and established a covenant the world would never be destroyed by a flood again. This did not suggest the Lord would never destroy the earth. He promised never to bring a global flood to destroy man.
While the focus of the flood story is on Noah and his family and the covenant of the rainbow in the sky, it is often overlooked that the covenant God made with Noah and his sons included every living creature, including the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth. The rainbow is a sign between God and man and also a sign between God and animals. There was a reason the Lord instructed Noah to preserve the animals in the ark. When God told Noah to build the ark, He said He was bringing a flood on the earth to destroy all flesh with the breath of life; everything on the earth would die. Before Noah began building the ark, He promised that He had a covenant with every living thing of all flesh to save them. God saved the animals through the obedience of Noah to build the ark and preserve the animals.
God’s covenant with the animals shows His concern for His creation. Creatures of the sea were created on the fifth day, along with the birds of the heavens. God saw His creation as good and blessed the sea creatures to be fruitful and multiply, fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth. He looked upon the world filled with birds and the seas with animals, which pleased the Lord. On the sixth day, before creating man, the Lord brought forth every living creature of the earth, like cattle, creeping things, and beasts. This would also include what is commonly referred to as the dinosaurs. He blessed these animals, and when He looked upon the earth filled with land animals, it pleased the Lord.
The creation of man was eternally different than the animals of the water, sky, and land. Man was created in the image of God. This separates man from animals as an eternal creature. No creature is made in the image of God; only man. Animals were not beguiled or sinned when the serpent came to Eve, and the woman was deceived. Only man has the capability of transgressing the law of God. It is only within the character of man to sin. Jesus came into the world to save man, not animals. An animal has no redeeming value (spiritual) as it has no eternal spirit.
After the flood, God told Noah he could eat animals. To kill an animal for food is not murder. Every living thing that moves is food for man. If a man kills another man, it is murder because man was created in the image of God, and the Lord will hold him guilty. Killing a cow for a hamburger is not murder. Having permitted the world to eat meat, God reminded Noah the covenant He made not to destroy the world was also made with the animals. This covenant does not elevate the animal kingdom to any spiritual level but shows God’s concern and care for the animals. To treat God’s creation with cruelty is sinful as it abuses what the Lord has created for man’s benefit and enjoyment. The rainbow is a covenant established between God and all flesh on earth.
Jesus came to die for sinful man, not animals. When men die, they stand before a righteous God who will judge whether they are good or evil. Animals die, and the breath of life given to them by the hand of God returns to Him. There is no judgment for the animals, no eternal life, and no life hereafter. Animals cannot be judged as good or evil. But it must be remembered that God has a covenant with the animals.