Naming The Animals

Thursday, June 25, 2015
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Thy Blood And Righteousness"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 50:10 – For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. (NIV)

Genesis 2:19 – Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. (NIV 2011)

When spring finally arrived, I went out to the garden with some fresh water for my box turtle that had emerged safe and sound from her hibernation spot. But I was surprised to discover that she had company – three adorable baby cottontails! Although I was tempted to pick them up, something told me that it wasn't a good idea. So I went online to research "baby rabbits". What I learned is that most of the time, the mother is nearby; therefore, I should not automatically assume that the bunnies had been abandoned. I was satisfied with this information as the animals appeared healthy and ready to explore the world on their own. Then later, a friend brought me the cutest little baby turtle from her backyard. I named him "Buttons" because of the markings on his shell.

Interestingly, it was the first human, Adam, who named the animals. This was his first act of dominion over the creatures around him. Perhaps God intended this exercise as a way for Adam to develop a deep sense of concern and responsibility for the wellbeing of what he had authority over.

Contemplating my experience with wildlife, I thought about our responsibility before God to be good stewards over all His creation, including the animals. Let us consider the following:

  • The Lord tells the righteous to "care for the needs of their animals". (Proverbs 12:10 NIV)
  • He instructs Israel to allow their animals to rest on the Sabbath. (Deuteronomy 5:14)
  • He prohibits the mismatching of animals so as not to burden them with undue stress. (Deuteronomy 22:10)
  • He prohibits muzzling the ox as it treads grain. (Deuteronomy 25:4)
  • He commands shepherds to "know the condition of your flocks". (Proverbs 27:23 NIV)
  • People are to rescue a fallen beast even if it belongs to the enemy. (Exodus 23:4-5)

Questions for reflection: What experience, if any, have you had with animals in your own life, domestic or wild? What spiritual lessons have you drawn? How is it our duty to exercise dominion over animals according to God's plan?

Prayer: Heavenly Father and Creator of all things, we thank You for Your glory and majesty that are displayed throughout all the world. As Your word declares, everything that has breath will praise You — even the animals. Grant us each a caring spirit and a teachable heart, that we may learn from even the lowliest of Your creatures and see Your wisdom in all that You have made. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Full of wisdom!

    Something rarely heard but certainly true. Thanks for the reminder.

    Wonderful! I enjoyed this one very much. I love the personal touch. I can just see you doing this. Good luck to Buttons and and his/her new friend.

    Dear Lori,
    I love the way you love and tend your animals. Do you think he Lord knows your nature of wanting to care for His creatures that He sends them to you? …just a thought.

    Dear Lori,
    we have adopted some guinea pigs from friends who are selling up. It has been an interesting lesson in gaining trust.

    Wow another devotional, you are one busy lady. I know you have spent time researching the bible looking for the applicable verses that would apply to your animal subject. I congratulate you for your dedication to get God’s word open to us, making it come alive.
    God has given you a real talent and I see you are using it.

    Lori, our God is so amazing. I read this devotional today while I waited at the Vets for a cancer assessment appointment. He’s holding his own, but still sleeps heaps. We go back soon for another exray and assessment. Meanwhile he’s on meds. If it is not one thing, it is another. You asked: What experience, if any, have you had with animals in your own life, domestic or wild? Guess I just covered this one.
    What spiritual lessons have you drawn? Trust God for outcomes.
    How is it our duty to exercise dominion over animals according to God’s plan? I think less of exercising dominion and more of stewardship…caring for the animals. Thanks for writing this. God’s timing is always spot on.

    Lori: You chose an excellent, yes a most practical topic, for this morning’s Devotion. It suddenly brought back to mind an event of many years ago when I accompanied a boy friend of my age (7 – 8) years one winter day.
    He took along his 22 rifle to shoot rabbits and this in the dead of winter with fields covered with pure white snow. Shortly, he saw a rabbit and insisted I try my ‘luck’. He threw a stone to startle the rabbit into motion. While in the midst of its first jump I fired a shot that was to catch the poor animal in mid flight in addition to receiving a sudden comment, “Boy, you sure were lucky.”
    My friend went into the field to retrieve the rabbit’s body now lying in snow that no longer was pure and white. For years I felt ashamed along with the event disappearing from memory until a few minutes ago. I recalled once again what I did and never thereafter sought to own such a weapon.
    So you see Lori, how your Devotional subject can resurrect a feeling of regret over something of so long ago. I am amazed and, of course, sorry the killing ever occurred with my finger upon the trigger . . . . and that the incident occurred at all.

    Great work Lori!

    So very interesting! To think that Adam named all of the animals, a clear picture that God created man as an intelligent being, not something that crawled out of the water and evolved into a human being. Praise the Lord for His Holy Word and also for you sharing it with us in such a beautiful way.

    Dear Lori,
    Right now I have a divided attitude toward rabbits. They are eating too much of my garden: peas, beets, broccoli, and even young muskmelon vines.
    The problem could be that people are releasing domesticated pet rabbits into the village — and thus upsetting the way God would want his world to operate. I have not had a problem previously with wild bush rabbits or wild Jack rabbits, but the rabbits this year appear to be a species that are accustomed to human beings and to common food of persons.
    May God cause people to have a conscience about such matters.

    So well written and speaks to all of us who love our animals and the wild ones included. Thank you Lori.

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