Today we call dogs “Man’s Best Friend,” but Genesis 9:2-3 gives us the impression that until the humans and animals disembarked from the Ark, they were all friends.
2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
So imagine what the Garden of Eden must have looked like before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I picture them petting the bears and cuddling with the cougars. Dinosaurs and dragons could have been their pets. The possibilities of the connections between the father and mother of humankind and the animal kingdom are endless.
At the Creation Museum in northwestern Kentucky, I saw an artist’s rendition of what it might have looked like when God made the couple clothing out of animal skins. Genesis 3:21 tells us:
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Most theologians agree that these few words give us a peak into the first sacrifice. But until I saw that painting in Kentucky, it didn’t dawn on me that those skins came off the backs of one of Adam and Eve’s friends. One of the animals they played with every day had to die because they ate from the tree. They had one rule, and they blew it, and then they had to watch one of their pets pay the price.
Did the knowledge that their friend had to pay the price stop Adam and Eve from crossing the line again? Would knowing your pet would be killed if you sinned stop you?
Sin brought death into the world. It should have been Adam and Eve, but God allowed one of their animals to take their place. Did the Creator take their favorite lamb to provide their covering?
It doesn’t look like knowing an animal would have to pay the price stopped men from turning away from God. They got so bad, the Lord of all the Earth decided to destroy His creation. And when the do-over didn’t see humans fare a lot better, He sent His Son to be the sacrifice. One parable suggests God had high hopes for His people.
Luke 20:13 tells us Jesus said,”Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’” But they didn’t, did they? The rulers of His day, killed Him. And before you and I get too judgemental thinking about how all those folks turned their backs on God, we need to consider the last time our actions caused the stripes on our Best Friend’s back. How did my last sin kill Jesus?
Don’t Focus on the Sin
If you check out my newest devotional, I’m Pretty Sure I Messed This Up you’ll see, I don’t want us to dwell on the rules or focus on what we’ve done wrong. Most of us do that Plenty. However, I believe if we took the consequences of our sin a bit more seriously, we might think twice sometimes.
Your best friend died for you. Man’s best friend died for all of humanity. Let’s appreciate the gift.