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The Fall of Man and Animal Death

It has been a month ago today that we had to make that awful trip to the vet and put an end to the suffering of Basement Cat, but I still get misty. When the box with her ashes arrived, I was upset all over again. When I was drifting off to sleep that night, I "heard" her meow like she often did at bedtime. When did animal death enter God's very good creation?

We miss Basement Cat. Some professing Christians say that animal death is a part of creation, but that is contrary to Scripture and the nature of God.

Animals suffer and die, and it hurts those of us who love them so much. Biblical creationists maintain that death entered the picture with the Fall of Man. After all, God does not approve of the mistreatment of animals (Prov. 12:10), and he even providing for birds (Matt. 6:26). For some reason, professing Christians who insist on exegeting huge amounts of time into the Bible concoct weird interpretations of Scripture — some even say that death is a good thing! Also, suffering and death are, to some owlhoots, a part of God's creative process through evolution. Such absurdities are inconsistent with God, our loving Father. At the restoration at the end of all things, there will be no death or suffering.
Did animals die before the fall? The short answer is “no,” but let’s unpack that answer. There are several reasons we believe animals did not die before the fall.

For one, God created the world “very good,” and a very good world would not include animal death. It is obvious from God's statement in Genesis 1:31 (at the end of day 6 of creation), which would mean no sin, no death, and no carnivory. Satan almost certainly rebelled after day 7 as well. God created everything perfect, but it didn’t stay that way for long. In Genesis 1:31 the Hebrew term translated as “very good” is טוֹב מְאֹד (tôb meōd). The word tôb refers to things that are pleasant, qualitatively good, morally good, or that has good character, while meōd serves as an intensifying adjective in this verse. Thus, Scripture did not merely say that all that God made was good—it declared that it was exceedingly good. This verse describes the Lord’s assessment of his creation, so we need to keep his character at the forefront when discerning what “very good” means. Since God is perfect, anything short of perfection could not accurately be identified as “very good.” Would the perfectly holy and morally pure Creator call a world full of death, suffering, and disease “very good”?
You can finish reading at "Animal Death Before the Fall?" A related article on animal death and God's character is "Animal death before the Fall — Cruelty to animals is contrary to God’s nature".


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