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God clearly says from creation that people (male and female) are superior to animals - Gen. 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-8. Man is more valuable to God than animals - Matt. 10:29-31; 12:11,12; 6:26; 15:26. God authorized man to kill animals for food, but we are not authorized to kill people for food - Gen. 9:2,3; Luke 15:23; Gen. 18:7,8; 27:3,4. God Himself used animal skins to make clothing for Adam and Eve - Gen. 3:21. Numerous Scriptures show people owning and herding animals and using them for their own purposes and prosperity - Psalm 32:9; James 3:3,7.
Men are more intelligent than animals - Job 35:10,11; Psalms 73:22; Hosea 7:11; Psalms 32:9. Because of this superior intelligence, God is able to communicate to man by the written word, the Scriptures - 2 Tim. 3:16,17. What has God written to communicate His will to animals?
Even more important, the Bible clearly teaches that men were created in the image of God - Gen. 1:26-28; 5:1; 9:2-6; James 3:9. This is not said of animals. Men have spirits that are responsible to study God's word and obey it - Job 32:8; Zechariah 12:1; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1. Ecclesiastes 3:21 - The spirit of man goes upward, but the spirit of a beast goes down to the earth. There is a sense in which an animal has a spirit - animal life. But it does not continue past death. (Isaiah 31:3)
Men will be judged for their lives, good or bad, and will receive eternal rewards accordingly - Genesis 2:16,17; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14; Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 12:36; Acts 17:30,31; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Romans 2:6-10; Hebrews 4:9. Animals do not have this moral responsibility - Matthew 7:6; 23:33; 12:34; Acts 20:29,30; Titus 1:12,13; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 10; 1 Peter 5:8; Proverbs 26:3.
Finally, the most important proof of all is that Jesus died to save mankind - human beings, not animals - Titus 2:11,12; 3:3-7; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; Isaiah 53:5,8; Romans 5:6-9,12,18,19. If God values animals as equally important to man, why did Jesus not die for them? The answer is obvious. Animals have no spirit, no moral responsibility, no eternal destiny, and therefore they are not held accountable for right and wrong. Jesus did not die to save them because they do not need to be saved.
Men are superior to animals in their spirit, their intelligence, their value to God, their moral responsibility, their eternal destiny, and in the price God paid to save them from sin.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 10/2005
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.