How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and the birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4

We need to pray for wildlife. Hundreds of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered by greedy men – merely for their ivory tusks. Thousands of rhino have been killed because some pagans in Asia think that rhino horn is an aphrodisiac! Africa’s rich heritage of wildlife is being destroyed by corrupt government officials, such as Zimbabwean cabinet ministers, who have masterminded this wholesale destruction. There have even been cases of hunting by helicopter gunships and MIG fighter jets shooting up herds of elephant and buffalo.

Ivory poachers, trophy hunters, careless slash-and-burn “farmers,” overgrazing, litterbugs and corrupt governments are destroying our magnificent continent. I have been nauseated at the sight of huge animal graveyards – vast herds of elephants slaughtered for their tusks, zebra killed merely for their skins and for their tails to be made into fly swatters! Leg-hold-traps not only cause long and excruciatingly painful deaths, but three our of every four animals killed by these cruel traps are what furriers term “trash” – unusable animals not targeted by the trappers.

Even at some of the greatest natural wonders, such as Victoria Falls (the largest waterfall in the world), we have had to negotiate through the broken bottles, beer cans and cigarette stubs of the wicked. I firmly believe that all this grieves the heart of God. Painful experiments on animals, leg hold traps and the fur-for-fashion industry are reprehensible and have no place in a Christian culture.

Those who can so carelessly and destructively treat God’s magnificent creation with such contempt deserve to incur the wrath of God.Animals do matter. God made all the animals. All animals belong to God, and they most certainly deserve our compassionate concern and careful stewartship. If our Lord Jesus cares about the sparrows, then so too should we (Matthew 6:26). Accordingly, I believe that we should pray some of the imprecatory Psalms against the poachers, vivisectionists and others responsible for cruelty to animals.

Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness…” Psalm 10:15


The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.” Psalm 34:16


May God arise, may His enemies be scattered; may His foes flee before Him…may the wicked perish before God.” Psalm 68:1-2

May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap…pour out Your wrath on them; let Your fierce anger overtake them.” Psalm 69:22-24


SPIRITUAL WARFARE FOR WILDLIFE

We need to pray that the wicked are brought to repentance, and that if they steadfastly refuse to repent, that the Lord will deal with them in such a way that the rest will be afraid. Prayer is, in fact, spiritual warfare. One weapon is prayer for the conversion of spiritual enemies; another is prayer for judgement – on those who persistently refuse to repent. When we pray for God’s will to be done, for His Kingdom to come, then we are praying for satan’s kingdom to be defeated and smashed.

It is not God’s will that His creatures be treated in such a cruel and destructive way. The Bible well describes the destructiveness of people: “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:15-18


All over the world battles are raging for God’s creation. We need to pray for God’s magnificent creatures such as the tigers who are threatened with extinction.

One of the biggest battlefields today is Zimbabwe. The Marxist dictatorship of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regime is involved in a national suicide campaign of state sponsored terrorism. Having come to power through terrorism, Mugabe and his Marxists have not been satisfied with massacring tens of thousands of Matabele tribesmen, nor even with invading, confiscating and looting over five thousand productive commercial farms, simply because they were being run by White farmers. In recent years, Mugabe has unleashed his mobs in the game reserves and nature sanctuaries. The mutilations and cruelties perpetrated on farm animals and the destruction of farms has now been followed up with senseless slaughter of wildlife in what were once some of the greatest game reserves on earth.


Vast herds of elephant and buffalo have been machine gunned from helicopter gunships and strafed by jet fighters. Whole forests have been burnt to the ground. In Zimbabwe we can see the truth of the Scripture: that those who hate God love death (Proverbs 8:36). As a mission, we have been smuggling food into this marxist country, and helping to smuggle some animals out. Some ministries such at Wetnose have done a superb job in rescuing animals from the devastated farms in Zimbabwe and organising for new homes to adopt them. (You can read more about The Killing Fields of Zimbabwe on www.frontline.org.za).


Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against evil doers?” Psalm 94:16


We need to pray for the many Christians, and for God’s animals, who are suffering unspeakable cruelties and have been threatened with extinction in Zimbabwe. “O Lord, the God Who avenges, O God Who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve…they crush Your people. They slay the widow and the alien.” Psalm 94:1-6


Now, more than ever, we need to get serious about studying God’s Word and caring for God’s creatures. We need to proclaim the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). We need to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20) and that includes man’s responsibility to care for God’s creation. That is why I wrote the Discipleship Handbook and ensured that it included a chapter on The Bible and Animals. Do visit thewww.thebibleandanimals.org website. I trust that these resources will help a new generation of Christians to, by prayer and action, make this world a far better place for all of God’s children, and for all of God’s animals.


A good man is kind to his animals, but the wicked are cruel to theirs.” Proverbs 12:10


Dr. Peter Hammond
www.frontline.org.za

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