Heavenly creatures

Do you believe there are animals in the Kingdom of Heaven?  Let’s imagine we can have a peek in the Kingdom from the Bible.  Here’s the throne of God, with a floor of sapphire, and encircled by an emerald rainbow.

In front of the throne on what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the centre, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.” Revelation 4:6

Covered with eyes?  I can’t really picture it.  The creatures described in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4 aren’t like anything we have on earth.

Perhaps God has tried to show us with the peacock!

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The Hebrew word for eyes is ‘ayin‘ which represents consciousness – the idea of seeing and watching as well as knowledge.  Here in this world, our animals eyes show innocence, the innocence of our lost Eden.  Before the throne of God, I can imagine their innocent eyes reveal intelligence and spiritual insight.

These creatures are in the midst of the throne so we can see that God has his companion creatures, just as we do.

The living creatures are of four types, and of four in number.  Four is the “earth number,” for they have something to do with the earth. “They wait in eager expectation for children of God to be revealed.” Romans 8:19.

Animals have a soul.  God had given his creatures breath, “ruach”, a soul – just as man has been given breath, a soul.  “In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”  Job 12:10

Does God care about our animals?  I’d say yes, for he writes that a righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10). He cares about us all.

He watches over them.  Jesus said “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  Matthew 10:29

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The animals belong to God, and he knows each one.  “Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.”  Psalms 50:10-11

It says in Revelation 4:11 that God created all things, and they were created for his pleasure.

Although the creatures are God’s, God placed them under Adam’s dominion.  After the fall of man, all creation suffered when the Earth came under a curse.

Job, the oldest book in the Bible deals with suffering.  Job spoke of the life of the creatures and the breath of all mankind being in God’s hand.  He said, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you.”  Job 12:7-10

The creatures can’t tell us, but they have this hope of being released from suffering. They’re looking forward to the day when they can join us in the new Kingdom, where there will be no more death or suffering.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Romans 8:19-22

All creatures will be brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God when God’s Kingdom comes.

The wolf will live with the lamb, 
the leopard will lie down with the goat, 
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; 
and a little child will lead them.
Isaiah 11:6

Cat & Psalm 23

Never give up

A friend of mine said “No one gets out of life unscathed”.  Isn’t that the truth!  The next chapter of the Kingdom, Chapter 14 “The Flatlands”, touches on suffering, and what I’d been taught from those who’d gone before me.  I have learned the most from people who have lost the most.  They suffered.   They have overcome giants.

Why does an all powerful, all loving God, permit suffering?  Its a question we all ask, because we all hurt.  Its a question we can ask God.  He may not give a reason, but He will give comfort.    What I have learned from my walk with the King is that he does not dismiss or diminish suffering, even though the reasons for it are not offered.  He will bring meaning out of it, if we trust Him, if we permit Him.  He will use suffering to fashion something above human reason that is of immense value, something that has dignity, beauty, and honour.

The King did not get out of life unscathed either.  He has the scars to prove it.  He, the Great I AM, got down into this suffering world with us.  What my Grandfather got told, when he most needed to hear it, was “Christ suffered too”. 

What I needed to learn, was never give up.

Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere. Hebrews 10:35

The King even tells what the reward is; “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Keep the faith.