May we consider for a few moments that we are humans, “Homo Sapiens,” the highest level in this world of the living. We, along with all the other animals, occupy this environment called Earth. This happens to be the only planet in our Solar System that is livable and occupied by life, as we know it. We share our lives with all the other animals, breathe the same air and benefit from the life giving warmth of the sun.
We humans along with the other animals share the same 5 physical senses, hearing, seeing, smelling, taste and touch. Some of these, the smell and hearing, are much more sensitive and keener in the animal world than our senses are. We notice the similarity we share with the animal world, the communication and touch, The dedication of the family pet to their owners is remarkable. How soon they respond with love and play even after some discipline from their owners. Yet between man and the domesticated animal there is a major difference.
In the Biblical account of Creation in Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in Our Image, after our likeness.” Genesis 2:7 states, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul” (ASV). Man has this living soul that will return to the God who gave it when our earthly life ends.
In Job 33:4, Job said, “The Spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty giveth me life.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, “The Spirit returns unto God who gave it.”
There is another significant difference between man and the rest of the animal world. Man has the ability to understand, to reason and satisfy the need of one of his friends or brethren. He has the choice to respond or not as in James 2:16, “Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled”: or give them the things needful to the body. He has the ability to think and respond using the Scriptures or some other guide concerning the situation, to either satisfy the need or ignore it.
In 1 John 3:17, a very similar verse, we read, “Who so hath the worlds goods and sees his brother in need and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abideth in him?” The point being the man or brother that hath the goods has the ability to make the choice, whether or not to satisfy the need or through lack of concern or whatever, to say “be ye warmed and filled” and not supply the cold and hungry with what they need.
Here in lies another difference in man and the animals in our environment. Our Creator has given us the reasoning and thinking capacity to act but not by instinct as the animals do.
May we be blessed with the desire and wisdom to recognize the opportunity to do good and satisfy the needs of our brethren and mankind.