Monday, September 29, 2014

When Animals Did Not Fear Us

The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Genesis 9:2

The first time that "fear" is mentioned in the Bible is when God says that from now on all animals will fear us. Can it be more obvious that until He made this pronouncement, animals did not fear us? The flood changed so much. It brought in the death penalty and made animals a source of our food.

In his beautiful autobiographical book, The Dark Child, Camara Laye tells of how his father, while working in his shop, talked to a snake. After a while the snake would leave to return at another time.

My dear niece and I discussed the nature of this natural communication. My view was that this once took place all the time, in the years before the flood, before animals feared us. So Dr. Dolittle is not just fantasy. It reflects on a time when we could be with animals without fear on either side, just as in Isaiah chapter eleven.

Oh wonderful peaceable kingdom, lost now, but soon to be recovered.

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