Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7)
A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed an outing to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. Like all zoos, they have a wide variety of animals from all over the world – birds, reptiles, mammals, and marine creatures. The “Desert Dome” houses all kinds of animals that make the desert their habitat. The dark catacombs beneath the dome feature an assortment of nocturnal creatures like bats and other mammals and reptiles that prefer dark places. The aquarium exhibits penguins, sharks, sea turtles, and a multiplicity of exotic fish. There is also a jungle enclosure set up to resemble a rain forest with all the creatures that would inhabit such a place. A butterfly enclosure offered an array of beautifully colored insects that flitted about from flower to flower displaying God’s artistry in design. Even butterflies of the same species varied in design; no two were alike. Outside, in open enclosures, we enjoyed large animals like giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras, etc.
All the animals did exactly what God created them to do. There were no surprises. The elephants did not behave like giraffes, and the giraffes did not behave like the rhinos. Monkeys swung from tree limbs and picked fleas off one another. Whatever they were created to do they did, and in keeping with their design purpose, they glorified their Creator.
Walking around a crowded zoo offers opportunity to observe the behavior of humans that come to observe the animals. Without going into specifics, it is interesting to note how so many humans fail to fulfill the purpose for which they were designed. One way is in the way they distort their appearance by markings, piercings, artificial coloration (hair color and makeup), or immodest dress. Another way is in their speech, conduct, or behavior. Having been created in the image of God, they do not glorify God in their actions.
Animals glorify God by doing what God created them to do; however, God says, “my people know not the judgment of the LORD” (Jeremiah 8:7). Humans designed and built the habitats for the animals in the zoo, and as humans, we can appreciate the beauty in the work of human minds and hands. The animals miss the aesthetics of the creation and only react in the way they were designed to act. Humans enjoy the aesthetics of the place and find entertainment in seeing all the animals, but they attribute it all to time and chance, rather than give glory to God who created humans with the ability to create and appreciate beauty, and who created all the animals for our enjoyment and His glory.
“Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel” (Psalm 22:23).
“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart” (Malachi 2:2).
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“Having your [conduct] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12).
Glorify God with your life. Be what God created you to be. Do what God created you to do. Animals do it!