Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25 NASB
On the sixth day of creation, God was incredibly active. We discover He ‘pulled double duty’ if you will. He created the cattle and the beasts of the earth and He created man. We will discuss the creation of the living creatures God spoke into existence in this narrative. The creation of animals occurred prior to God creating man.
The NLT version of the Bible states “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind – livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.”
Animals reveal the sovereignty of God. When Job complained that God had mistreated him, God pointed to creation to help Job understand His sovereignty. God reminded Job that He provides for the animals (Job 38:39-41). He appointed them their place in creation (Job 39:6). He also pointed out to Job that He is more powerful than the feared Behemoth and Leviathan because He was their creator (Job 40:19; 41:10).
God enjoys animals! In Psalm 104:31, the psalmist declared: “Let the Lord be glad in His works.” This speaks broadly of all God created, but is proceeded by a long description of God’s interaction with animals (vv. 18-30). Scripture states the breath of life resides within them (Gen 7:15).
Animals bring glory and praise to God. In Psalm 148, the psalmist called on everything to praise the Lord. He included sea monsters, beasts, cattle, creeping things and birds (vv.7, 10). The final verse of the last Psalm declares: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6). Even though they don’t do so with words, animals bring glory and praise to God. And God saw that it was good.
Animals, by their very existence, point to God as creator. They point to God as love, in so much that He created them in seeming endless variety. They point to God as the designer of all things and fill a crucial part of the relationship between all of creation. Animals are a living display of the natural beauty God planned and built into creation as an artist.
God created the wide diversity of animals for His and our enjoyment!