Never Mind the Rain, Who’ll stop the Crying?
Yesterday I heard a wild creature or creatures crying. In Psalms 147:9 it says, “God gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.” The word “beast” here means cattle and the word “cry” can also be translated from the original to properly call out by name. What I heard was so unbearable, heartbreaking and chillingly haunting, that I stood out in the cold and listened to the sounds coming from the direction of the distant forest. They were at least a mile away, but that would have never prevented me on this still day from identifying them.
I am in my present life a follower of Christ, but before I was born again I was totally a nature boy. I am not boasting, just stating a fact. Most sounds in nature I know and distinguish immediately whether it’s the mating sounds of milkweed bugs or the call of a rabbit that has broken its leg, or the elegantly styled refrain of a rock wren. This anguished plea was chilling, compelling and unrecognized. It called to me so loudly that I was considering having my wife drive me over to that location to see if I could help the poor animal. Just as suddenly as it had begun, the sound stopped. I wondered what could have been in trouble and how I might have helped it but it was gone and remained so.
Today I tried to listen to the Lord specifically to see if He would speak anything concerning the cry. The verse I was drawn to was the one you already read in Psalms 147:9. It spoke to me two things which I have mentioned. Ravens and I am certain a plethora of other animals, including birds cry unto the Lord. This doesn’t mean that they simply begin their day, even before they eat, by singing, squawking or just chirping, but it means as the analysis of this word “cry,” but they call out by name unto the Creator. This should be evidence that they are aware there is a Creator and that they know His name.
Now let’s move along to a second issue that deserves our attention. The word the King James translates as beast in this verse is actually cattle so we can ascertain that the cattle standing in line to be slaughtered also know God as well as the other animals do. They know who killed them and they know who deprived them of a union with their little ones. They know who and what suddenly ended their lives at the time of the prime of life. They know if you did it or if I did it, for I am a country boy, a previously avid hunter and I’m ashamed to say even trapper. It feels so wonderful to be an eater of vegetables and not flesh. To not run an arrow through an animal and let it die a long tortuous death. It feels wonderful to not be setting and baiting a steel jawed trap, cutting into the ankle of an animal.
I was just going to the hospital in a medical van with some other people. We found out our fathers, when they were boys, trapped skunks and sold their pelts to Sears & Roebuck for about fifty cents each. Not only was the procedure cruel but the trappers smelled like skunk for weeks (I am not suggesting you make pets of skunks or other wild animals, but skunks are not much different than your family’s cat as pets). I admit the fifty cents the trappers got for skinning and selling a skunk pelt went much further than it does today, but it is astonishing what circumstance people will go to betray one of God’s creatures. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver to those who would bring Him to a cruel crucifixion on the cross. (Matthew 26:15) No one can probably tell you precisely how much 30 pieces of silver equates to in today’s market, but at the most we do know that it was the going price of a slave at that time, which was only a few hundred dollars. In studying to give you the exact equivalent on today’s market of 30 pieces of silver, I did discover this interesting fact that it was the going price of a slave. This is exactly what Judas was worth because he had become a slave to the devil. I don’t know if Jesus actually meant that Judas was a devil or that he had become completely (and probably willingly) under the control of the devil. Jesus asked His disciples, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70) Once we give up our free will to Satan, we have also sacrificed our free will and become a doer of his will. Only Christ can set us free!
I saw two live cows with their hides completely removed in the rafters of a slaughter house betrayed for the price of some hamburgers and I have discovered that hogs on the farm are slaughtered and while there is still some life in them submerged in boiling vats or barrels of boiling water to remove the hair from their skins. You could say to those farmers who have been deceived, “I love all of you, but some of you act like the devil.”
Here we sit in our cozy homes watching the Superbowl or avoiding watching it depending upon what we enjoy, while animals of every description are being betrayed. If you read chapter 4 of Revelation you will discover what we would classify as animals, are not only flying round about the throne of God, but are even sitting on it. These beings are singing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” At the Day of Judgment, they may be also singing, “I’ll be watching you,” for they have eyes before and behind. Jesus said that many of the religious leaders are blind guides (Matthew 23:13) but I never heard Him say that about an animal!
May all creatures be blessed and may all people be transformed through the Spirit of the living God, Minister David Prather.
P.S. I wish to thank the Lord Jesus Christ who in His mercy, and by His grace, “Has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13) And thanks to those farmers who grow organic vegetables and fruit and spare the living creatures.