Genesis 1:27-28 – So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. God blessed them and said, "Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (NCV)
Last summer I taught at our annual Vacation Bible School at church. One day while playing recreational games on the church lawn, one of our children stumbled across a nest of wild bunnies in a hole.
The children, as well as the adults present at the church, assumed that the babies were orphaned because no one had ever seen the mother rabbit near the nest.
Since they had been touched by the children, there was now some added concern that if the mother did come back to feed her babies, she would abandon them because of the human scent on them.
One of our teen helpers took the bunnies home with her to protect them from harm and returned them that evening just in case the mother rabbit returned.
The director of the Vacation Bible School returned to the church one evening — after everyone had gone home — to check on the bunnies. They were gone, but the mother rabbit had returned to feed her babies. She apparently stayed around for about an hour waiting for the babies to return. She was quite distressed that they did not come back.
The next day we found out that the mother of one of our other teen helpers had taken the bunnies home with her because she was concerned that they would starve to death. She returned them to the nest in the morning after the mother was spotted at the nest.
By the third day the bunnies were old enough to venture out on their own and were spotted hopping into nearby bushes eating grass, much to everyone's delight.
Sometimes in our haste to help animals in apparent need, we overstep the boundaries of God's command that we "rule over every living thing that moves on the earth". The welfare of all living creatures on this earth rests in God's hands. We should trust in him, and leave his wild creatures to their own devices, unless it is abundantly clear that it is his wish that we intervene.
Prayer: Lord our God, help us to do your will in the best way that we know how. Help us to understand when it is best to intervene with your creatures, and when it is best to leave them to their own devices. Help us to remember that sometimes intervention by us can backfire and that we should always trust that you know what is best for every living creature. We praise your glory and wonder in your beautiful creation, Lord. Amen.