Did Animals Die in the Beginning?

It is from God’s self-disclosure in Scripture alone that we gain understanding of His being and nature. The living God of unfathomable love and perfect righteousness reveals Himself as Creator, Redeemer, Provider…He makes known His glorious holiness and adorable attributes such as eternity, omniscience, omnipotence, aseity, immutability and more.

Although the science of theology must never impute its formulae into Scripture, our Scripturally accurate understanding of God MUST inform our hypotheses and theories as we investigate God’s universe; this great theatre of His glory. Hence the saying “theology is the queen of sciences.” Like all human pursuits, scientific ones must be done righteously. This of course is expressly and vigorously contrary to the wicked thinking that equates objectivity with godlessness…

When it comes to the branch of science known as cosmogony (not to be confused with a closely related discipline, cosmology) are we doing justice to the Bible and a Biblical understanding of God’s being and nature if we believe that death for animals existed even before the Fall of Man into sin? The Bible says it was that tragic Fall, the most surpassingly tragic event in history (real history, not the evolutionary re-write) which brought death into God’s once perfect world (Romans 5:12). Can we reasonably limit that to human death?

How so, if we are mindful of the divine Lawgiver Who ordained a sabbath rest for man and beast (Exodus 20:10,11)? How so, remembering that the God of all mercies expressed to the prophet Jonah His concern for even the cattle of the city of Nineveh (Jonah 4:11)? How so, if the Creator Who says of His image-bearer that righteousness involves tender concern for the life of his animal (cf. Proverbs 12:10)? How so, if the prophet Isaiah (chapter 11) foresaw peaceful co-existence where the predator and prey relationship exists now?

No kind of death, decay, corruption, or futility inhered anywhere in God’s very good creation (Genesis 1:31) at the beginning. Christ’s apostle summarizes why those things exist now, as well as the hope which the Bible believer has regarding their ultimate and eternal demise:

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:20-22)

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