Poem: Animals our Wards
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
The following contributed poem, Animals Our Wards, A Personal Hope, gives one person’s view of what the future may hold. It is written in the unusual non-rhyming poetic style of Hebrew songs and poetry that emphasizes cadence and thought patterns.
God’s word tells us, He’s appointed us as stewards
Over earth and all that’s upon it.
And while we were the last to be given life,
We’re the first over all on the ground.
He said, ‘Take the earth and subdue it
And care for all living things.
Don’t misuse the trust you’ve been given,
And fill the earth with your offspring.
‘I’ve appointed you over the fish in the seas
And the birds that fly high in the skies.
So before you, all living creatures must bow,
And I’m entrusting them into your hands.’
But, man had a better idea
And listened to lies about God,
When the Opposer came and said this to them:
‘It would be best if you’d just disobey.’
He told them that God really lied,
And that they could also be gods,
If they would just eat of the fruit of God’s tree…
The one that He said would bring death.
So they did what he said, and they strayed…
But God had really not lied.
For they’d given up their lives as the stewards
Over the earth and all living things.
To whom did they give up this charge,
Since it hadn’t been given to others?
To the one that lied and o’er earth became god,
And created this world filled with badness.
From that point on, all living things strayed
Without headship or reason or rhyme.
As mankind forgot their commission,
And killing their wards became pleasure.
So thereafter, they killed and they ate.
And as stewards, they gave up their place
To stalk and be hunters of prey.
So in fear, our wards started running from us.
Then God brought the water to kill all bad men,
Save Noah, his family, and a few of the best.
And by this, remains of life were preserved…
Yet, animals drowned for sins not their own.
Then after the downpour, God reasoned:
‘There’s no changing what man has become now,
So I will just make laws to control it,
Then change it all back in My Day.’
So he said, ‘You may now kill and eat, if you must;
But, pour their blood back onto the ground,
Or else they may also come and eat you…
For the blood of those that you’ve slaughtered and drank.’
From then on, none lived quite as long,
And Nimrod made killing a sport.
Then mankind forgot the warning God gave,
And they started eating blood with their meat.
So though God once gave them men to keep peace,
Their masters were free to kill and eat them.
Therefore lions, and bears, and others fought back,
As men also became their fair game.
Now, eons have past and few have really noticed
How unnatural this all has become.
For we hunt, kill, and eat those once given to us,
While they hunt and kill us the very same way.
But what else could we hope to expect?
For their masters were the ones that have set the lead.
And killing is now so very commonplace
That even the blood of men is sacred no longer.
Yet, surely this isn’t the way it should be,
For killing and death was never God’s plan.
So though I eat meat, I know it’s not right,
And I believe it will change in God’s Day.
You think it’s not so and say it won’t be?
‘Where are the scriptures?’ you ask.
And I reply, ‘We were promised
That pain, sin, sorrow, and death will be gone.’
‘Ah, that’s just the death of humans,’ you say,
‘Those scriptures apply just to us.’
But when there’s no death, crying, or sorrow,
Won’t the deaths of our friends still be mourned?
And wasn’t it God that once told us…
Yes, weren’t they His very own words:
‘In all of My mountain
They will not harm or destroy?’
So who knows what can be done with the aid of God’s Breath?
Could we someday give back what we once took as sport?
For after man is once again righteousness
Won’t there still be an earth to subdue?
Or will God turn our wards into robots,
And force them to act without thinking or care,
While we make more pens for the slaughter,
And think of them as just food?
What has brought me to such crazy conclusions,
Since I once thought as most others do…
That it’s man alone that knows who he is,
And animals live without thinking?
Well, time and again I’ve been taught otherwise
By beasts that have their own minds…
By dogs that must think and see for the blind,
And by apes that are taught speak with their hands…
By birds with brains, like parrots that talk,
And feel sorrow when they’re left alone…
By beasts with trunks that mourn for their dead,
And dolphins that joyfully play in the seas.
Can a farmer truly look into the face
Of a pig, or a cow, or a chicken,
And not see trust, or love, and then fear,
And not think that something more is inside?
O foolish man; So what do you think?
Are we all blind and unable to see
That around us are those that know and love life…
And still think that this can be the right way?
The problem is that we don’t know our God;
For we think of Him wanting all glory,
While we learn that He really shares freely with all…
Just ask Moses, or David, or Jesus.
He said, ‘You’ll be gods, in your domain…
In the lands that you will inherit!’
Is that Earth, or Mars, or some distant place…
In any land where God chooses to send us?
But at that time, our wards will also know joy,
And living with us will bring pleasure.
For, we in turn, will come to know love,
And find ways to make their lives better.
Then perhaps we will see old friend that have died…
Among the men and the animals that we’ve loved.
For just as our lives comes from God;
By God’s Breath, perhaps they can live again.
For if you were given the power over death,
Wouldn’t you you use it in joy?
Yes, wouldn’t you use it to help those you’ve loved,
And allow them to live once again?
But, how will lions, and bears… even snakes
Ever be stopped from their killing?
Well, perhaps God’s way is to show us,
The same types of choices that He’s had to make.
For, just as some men do not wish to change;
This will surely be true of some creatures.
And maybe our job is to choose which will live,
And which will just have to be gone.
But remember that God once told us that the lion
Will someday eat straw like a bull or a cow.
So why would God ever say such a thing,
If it weren’t His plan for all on the earth?
Can the teeth of lions adapt to eat grass?
‘God knows,’ is the only true answer.
But He told us that the snake will eat dust,
And no meat will it eat everafter.’
But you say that there’d soon be too many…
We’d be overrun with rabbits, birds, mice and cats!
Well, the same could be said of us humans,
Yet we trust that God still has a plan.
It’s been said that there must be a heaven for dogs…
Yes there surely must be such a place!
But perhaps there is something even better…
To come back and in joy, forever live on!
‘You fool… you must really be kidding!
Such hopes are for men, not low creatures.
Must God now remember each dog and each cat?’
I don’t know, but there are some that we’ll never forget.
‘Then, who will decide which returns and which won’t?
Is that again in God’s hands?’
I don’t know, but if it does, it will be in your hands,
For He’s appointed you over all in your domain.
Ah, now you’re giggling and laughing at me,
Since I remember in sadness, those whom I’ve loved.
‘You’re a dreamer…you’re so immature;
Would God ever grant such a wish?’
Jesus said that He knows each sparrow that falls,
And why would He know for no reason?
For if He’ll remember to remake us from scratch,
Can He then remember no more?
‘But what of ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas…
Will they also not die?
Where would it stop… with each toad and each fish?
Will predator and prey soon be gone?’
The answer my friend, is it’s all in your hands,
For He’ll leave it all up to you.
He made us the masters over the earth…
Over all that is under the heavens.
So perhaps the root of our problem,
Is that we in our pride, have made a mistake.
For we think that our wards were made for our pleasure,
While we were just made to watch over them.