And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing…
I. THAT THE ANIMAL WORLD WAS CREATED BY GOD.
1. We should regard the animal world with due appreciation. Man has too low an estimate of the animal world. We imagine that a tree has as much claim to our attention and regard as a horse. The latter has a spirit; is possessed of life; it is a nobler embodiment of Divine power; it is a nearer approach to the fulfilment of creation.
2. We should treat the animal world with humane consideration. Surely, we ought not to abuse anything on which God has bestowed a high degree of creative care, especially when it is intended for our welfare.
II. THAT THE ANIMAL WORLD WAS DESIGNED BY GOD FOR THE SERVICE OF MAN.
1. Useful for business. How much of the business of man is carried on by the aid of animals. They afford nearly the only method of transit by road and street. The commercial enterprise of our villages and towns would receive a serious check if the services of the animal creation were removed.
2. Needful for food. Each answers a distinct purpose toward the life of man; from them we get our varied articles of food, and also of clothing. These animals were intended to be the food of man, to impart strength to his body, and energy to his life. To kill them is no sacrilege. Their death is their highest ministry, and we ought to receive it as such; not for the purpose of gluttony, but of health. Thus is our food the gift of God.
III. THAT THE ANIMAL WORLD WAS AN ADVANCE IN THE PURPOSE OF CREATION. The chaos had been removed, and from it order and light had been evoked. The seas and the dry land had been made to appear. The sun, moon, and stars had been sent on their light-giving mission. The first touch of life had become visible in the occupants of the waters and the atmosphere, and now it breaks into larger expanse in the existence of the animal creation, awaiting only its final completion in the being of man.
IV. THAT THE ANIMAL WORLD WAS ENDOWED WITH THE POWER OF GROWTH AND CONTINUANCE, AND WAS GOOD IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.
1. The growth and continuance of the animal world was insured. Each animal was to produce its own kind, so that it should not become extinct; neither could one species pass into another by the operation of any physical law.
2. The animal world was good in the sight of God. It was free from pain. The stronger did not oppress, and kill the weaker. The instinct of each animal was in harmony with the general good of the rest. But animals have shared the fate of man, the shadow of sin rests upon them; hence their confusion and disorder, their pain, and the many problems they present to the moral philosopher.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.