The Sixth Day

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind...And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion...over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 1:25,26,31

God created animals and human beings on the same day. He created the animals each one after “his kind,” but man was created in the image of God. After the fall and the entrance of sin the gap started to narrow between the species somewhat. We did not evolve from animals, but now it seems we just have a lot more in common.

A pastor related to me how one of the teenagers in his church was bragging to the youth pastor about how many times he’d had sex. When I heard this story I thought, “The only difference between that kid and the average dog is that the dog can’t count.”

Place a steak or a female dog in heat in front of the average mutt and he’s going to go for it, unless he is thoroughly disciplined or restrained by something. Remove the restraints from a society and people aren’t going to behave much better than their four legged friends.

Mankind takes much pride in technical advancements and intellect, but basic human nature is not that far removed from the animal kingdom whether we care to admit it or not.

My husband and I camped next to a horse ranch in California. The owner of the ranch told me that when the herd was larger she noticed that the brown horses would hang out only with other brown horses, speckled with speckled, white with white, etc.

White humans and black humans still have trouble mingling sometimes, just like those horses. Well, at least we know now where the phrase “a horse of a different color” originates.

I observe the squirrels in our yard. They are very territorial. One day I heard a typical confrontation. Another squirrel had apparently been trespassing in our squirrel’s backyard. He was very angry. After the confrontation was over, I watched in amazement as this outraged little creature returned to a tree branch. It yanked a leaf from its stem and angrily tore it into shreds with its tiny paws, all the while yelling at the top of its squeaky squirrel voice.

I’ve seen people act like that, not much better than an average irate rodent.

A chipmunk was resting placidly on the end of a long stick that was leaning out over the edge of a woodpile in our yard. Another chipmunk saw him and flattened himself at the base of the stick preparing his strategy for war. Then in a flash he struck, zooming up the branch like a torpedo, knocking his unsuspecting prey off the stick. The other chipmunk fell a full seven feet, landing with a thunk on the forest floor, the victim of premeditated aggression. How many human beings possess the mentality of a chipmunk?

In Virginia we were staying by a lake. There was a deck next to our camper where we could sit and look out at the ducks. There were four ducks that were always hanging out together, three males and a female. I named the female Gloria. The males were Harpo, Groucho and Chico.

I would feed them and one day they all scurried up the steep bank and came onto the deck to get a better shot at the goodies. Some other ducks swam by on the water below. I decided to share a bit of the bounty with them and so I cast some bread out over the deck rail. Harpo, Groucho and Chico immediately barreled off the deck and raced down to the water to intercept the bread. Gloria stayed with me. I thought her good sense and lack of covetousness deserved to be rewarded, so I fed her. When the greedy trio below caught on, they raced back up the hill to the deck where they observed that Gloria had been reaping the bounty. They watched her swallow the last morsel. “All gone fellas. Sorry,” I said as I extended my empty hands.

I watched all four ducks return to the water. Then immediately Harpo, Groucho and Chico attacked Gloria, beating her with their beaks. I watched in amazement as they held her under the water for quite some time.

It’s hard to be the victim of greedy ducks whether they are gang members, politicians or corporate pirates.

Living in the woods, I have had ample opportunities to observe the feeding habits of the mosquitoes. These creatures are driven by lust. It does not matter what obstacles they face to reach the object of their passion, they will never stop trying. Even when confronted with near death by swatting, they keep coming back, risking it all to gratify their desire. Once they’ve made contact, death by smashing is the inevitable end for a bug that can’t think.

How many people are driven the same way? Whether it is drug addiction or sex, they’ll risk aids and death for another high or another pretty face.

There’s something else about a mosquito that carries a warning for the sin of gluttony. A friend of ours has actually observed this phenomenon. If a mosquito is permitted to consume all it wants, the insect will continue gorging itself until it actually explodes.

Unlike the animals, human beings have been created with the wonderful ability to think and choose. We have the capabilities to make better choices than the creatures that we have been designed to rule over. We have been created in the image of God and He values us. He has designed us to be so much better than a squirrel, a dog or a horse. Yet our Creator sees the depravity in our souls, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). And He gave us the remedy for that sin, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”-John 3:16.

Human beings can choose to repent, to humble themselves to receive Jesus, the bread of eternal life. We can invite Him to come inside and change us from within into the people He wants us to be. We can have dominion over the lower natures that try to control us and destroy our lives. We can live on a level much higher than the average mosquito.

The question is – do we want to?

Copyright 2005 by H.D. Shively

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