"You made the heavens,
The heavens of the heavens with all their hosts,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
You give life to all of them."
Many have come to their own conclusions when it comes to the fate of God's creatures. By creatures I mean the animal kingdom. Many believe they are nothing more than animals that live and die. They serve their purpose on earth as labor, food, pets, clothing or whatever is the fashion of a certain era. They have been worshipped, abused, hunted to the point of extinction; others are protected and preserved in Zoo's and Wildlife Parks for the next generations to appreciate.
As a believer in the reconciliation of all, I believe verses like: "Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all, to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!" (Romans 11:36), to be true, by that I mean an absolute fact. The part of that verse that resonates with me is: "For Him is all." All that God created is for Him. Not for us, for Him. There are pieces of creation that we have been allowed to posses for a period of time, on loan so to speak, but all is for Him.
Paul tells us the same thing in Colossians 1: 16, "All is created through him and for Him."
Most teach, and I have to assume believe, that God will discard most of His creation. Even though Paul plainly states the all is for Him. The religious mind is no different than the mind of an atheist when it comes to verses like those in Romans and Colossians, they believe all of Gods creatures will turn to dust, perish. This is contrary to what the scriptures teach.
Paul tells us in Romans chapter eight, that not only will all mankind be brought into a right relationship with God, but all creation will be released from the bondage that mankind's Sin has held them in as well.
God will reverse the damage caused to all of creation by the disobedience in the garden.
In Romans 5:12 Paul tells us the extent of Adams disobedience to all humanity:
"Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and thus death passed through into all mankind."
Paul, a few chapters later in Romans 8:20-22, tells us how Adams disobedience extended to the rest of creation:
"For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now."
The reason for creation being affected by Mans disobedience is Man was given dominion over it:
"Let him hold sway over the fish of the sea and over the flyer of the heavens, over the domestic beasts, over every land animal and over every creeper that is creeping on the earth."
The earth and all on it is under mans authority. Man was (is) accountable for its care.
I don't read that the animals in the beginning of creation never died, or that Adams disobedience brought death to them, as Paul tells us Adams disobedience brought death to all mankind (Romans 5:12). What Adams disobedience did do was cause a change in the way animals survived on the planet.
In Genesis 1:30, we are told what animals ate before Adam's disobedience:
"And to every animal of the earth, to every flyer of the heavens, and to every creeper on the earth in which there is a living soul, I have given all green herbage for food."
Animals ate the herbage from the earth, the same as humans did (Genesis 1:29). After Adams transgression this changed. Now most animals are carnivores, or omnivores, the same as most humans. They all now live in fear of each other and predators, when once they lived in harmony with each other.
In the beginning Adam was given the responsibility (at that time) to name the animals (Genesis 2:20).
What we see now is not what Adam saw in the beginning when God first created the then world and all in it:
"And God saw all that He made: and behold, it was very good."
We now see a world that has been and is corrupted.
"In Whose hand is the soul of
every living creature."
God's hand is on all of His creation. We are not the only living part of creation that God cares for.
I recently had a conversation with a fellow who told me, animals can't be redeemed because they have no soul. They are soul-less. Only humans have a soul. This man believes that in order to be redeemed you have to repent and say the sinner's prayer. His reasoning is animals don't have the ability to repent, and they can't speak so no sinner's prayer. Also, only being's with a soul can speak.
Plants don't have a soul, but according to God, animals do.
Genesis 1:24 says:
"And Elohim said: Let the earth bring forth the living soul, each according to its kind: domestic beast, creeper and land animal, each according to its kind."
Animals have a soul, and they have the breath of God in them, just like we have. In fact, animals are more in tune to what God is about to do than most humans are.
Paul tells us what the creation is waiting to see unfold.
"The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own."
(Romans 8:19 - Phillips Translation)
What else can this mean but the animal creation?
The unbelievers (humans) aren't waiting for the sons of God to come into their own.
A.E Knoch in his commentary of the New Testament wrote this concerning Romans 8:19:
"The creation has been involved in the treadmill of corruption through the sin of man. We are associated with the creation on the physical side. When our bodies are delivered from their present slavery and death at our Lord's descent from heaven, He will transfigure them to conform them to His body glorious (Phil.3:21). Later, when we are unveiled, the creation will be set at liberty from the bondage which now enthralls it. How it ought to comfort us to know that the patient, suffering creatures, who had no hand in their own degradation, will yet find a real release from the pain and sorrow from which they have no escape now! Its physical aspect waits until our Lord's return." (End Quote)
Hosea speaks of a covenant that God will make for the animals after our unveiling:
"And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with fowls of the heavens, and with the creeping this on the ground."
Isaiah gives us a glimpse into what this covenant will be like:
"And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD."
Creation did not volunteer to be subjected to travail and groan through its existence. When man disobeyed, creation - all of it - became as cursed as man.
They were formed out of the same soil man was:
"And out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field, and every flyer of the heavens."
They have the same breath of life in them as man does:
"And they (the animals) went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of life."
They have a soul the same as man does:
"Let the earth bring forth the living soul, each according to its kind: domestic beast, creeper and land animal, each according to its kind."
They have one thing most of humankind has lost, they are waiting the unveiling of the sons of God, so they to will be freed from the slavery and corruption that we also live under, and to also be brought into the glorious freedom that the children of God will experience. (Romans 8:19)
At that time this verse in Psalms will be fulfilled:
"Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord"
All creation will.