A Pet Lover’s “Pet” Verse

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is the “pet” verse of pet lovers everywhere!

From the massive blue whales and gigantic dinosaurs to tiny ants and puny microorganisms, animal life has always fascinated mankind. After all, “whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Genesis 2:19). Adam, the first man, was also the first human scientist: he studied animal life, and in his brilliance, invented names for each of those creatures! Before he and Eve fell into sin, they probably had some of these as pets in the Garden of Eden. Even today, thousands of years later, mankind is still enjoying the billions of creatures that he has adopted as “family.”

Owning pets can be very rewarding, but it is equally painful when they pass away. Recently, my family marked the ninth anniversary of the death of our first pet dog. The poor animal extensively suffered from a disease during his last few days, and it was a great loss when he died. Reflecting on my childhood, I remember the deaths of other pets—fish, hermit crabs, a cat, and even an unknown insect species. I was diligent in feeding them, cleaning their habitats, and studying their behaviors.

Weeks ago, our current family pet dog was severely injured, and when I observed his wounds in the veterinary clinic, I was deeply disturbed as he floundered helplessly in agony. Although he survived, we grew very concerned because of his unknown prognosis.

According to today’s Scripture, “a righteous [just, fair] man regardeth the life of his beast.” He pays attention to the wellbeing of the animal he owns and he gives it adequate care. This is contrasted with “the wicked,” whose “tender mercies… are cruel.” They cannot be trusted to treat their animals/pets with kindness. Instead, they abuse them and neglect them. These owners are unsympathetic when their pets suffer.

So, what art thou? A “righteous” master, or a “wicked?”