Genesis – First, God.
The animated movie, “All Dogs Go to Heaven”, tells the story of Charlie B. Barkin, a German Shepherd that is murdered by his former friend, Carface Carruthers, but withdraws from his place in Heaven to return to Earth, where his best friend, Itchy Itchiford still lives, and they team up with a young orphan girl named Anne-Marie, who teaches them an important lesson about kindness, friendship and love.
Charlie comes to earth to right all wrongs done to him and his friends. Charlie, having sacrificed his life to save Anne-Marie, has earned his place in Heaven, and is allowed to return in ghost form to reconcile with Anne-Marie. Leaving Itchy in her care, Charlie returns to Heaven, where Carface finally arrives and takes his own clock, vowing revenge against King Gator. As the whippet angel chases him and yells that he can “never come back”, Charlie assures the audience that “He’ll be back” before winking and retrieving his halo.
Yes, it was a weird movie. Yes, as young adult parents we took our kids to see it because our children were animal lovers. But there was much explaining to do about the plot on the way home!
If God created all for His glory and for His pleasure, it would stand to reason that animals might be in heaven somewhere.
All creatures in God’s creation are commanded to praise Him. They do so just because God created them to praise Him just by being and for mankind to manage. BUT, they have no soul to save. God created us with a soul that longs for Him like He longs for us to love Him back. Man rebelled God. So God had a plan for man to be reconciled to Him. He ALSO gave us free will to choose Him and His plan or not. This is how we differ from animals…a mind to choose.
Genesis 1 – The Animals
20-23 God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
God created the huge whales,
all the swarm of life in the waters,
And every kind and species of flying birds.
God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
Birds, reproduce on Earth!”
It was evening, it was morning—
24-25 God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:
cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.”
And there it was:
wild animals of every kind,
Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug.
God saw that it was good.
THINK ABOUT IT…
I am reminded of the praise of Psalm 148 this morning as we read about God’s creation…
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!
Can we praise God just because He created us? YES!
GOING DEEPER STILL…
When God speaks, nothing remains the same. Look closely at what we are reading! At the beginning of time, God spoke, and a universe was created out of nothing. God followed a pattern when He created the earth: He spoke; it was so; it was good (Gen 1:3-4). this pattern continued throughout the Bible. Whenever God revealed His plans things happened just as He said, and God considered the result “good” (Phil 2:13). God doesn’t make suggestions. He speaks with the full determination to see that what He has said will come to fruition.
When Jesus spoke, what He said come to pass. Lepers found that a word from Jesus meant healing. The blind man discovered that a word from Jesus meant sight. Through a barren fig tree the disciples saw that a curse from Jesus meant destruction. The sinner experienced forgiveness through a word from Jesus.
How many attempts did it take Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead? Only one. There was never a time that Jesus spoke that what He said did not happen.
What happens when Jesus speaks to you? Have you been reading the words of Jesus in your Bible without experiencing His word that transforms everything around you?
Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they assumed that knowledge of the written Scriptures would give them life. They were satisfied with having the words instead of experiencing the Person who spoke the words (John 5).
How powerful a word from God is to our life! As we read our Bible and pray, listen to what God has to say to us about His will for our lives.
Heavenly Father, Creator of all,
We come to You with praise and thanksgiving that you made us with choice so that when we choose You and love you back our relationship goes deeper. When we realize your love for us, we love others more deeply with your love in us. When we watch where You are at work (all around us), we praise you even more. When you ask us to join you in your work from time to time, we run quickly to obey for YOU are God and we are not. I want to be where you are at all times. Thank you for the privilege of Your Presence in our lives! You speak, we listen and obey.
In Jesus Name, Amen