No consideration of the what the Bible says about animals is complete without the story of Noah, of course. It is, for most of us, one of the first Bible stories we learn as children & remains a beloved tale throughout our lives.
That Noah, that good man of God, would undertake such a monumental task with nothing but the assurance of the Lord shows faith indeed. Consider all that was involved in building the ark, then in gathering the many many animals & providing for all of their needs. Just thinking about such an undertaking is daunting, to have the faith to actually begin such a task & more than that to see it through to its end is an inspiration that echoes through the ages.
9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!
14 “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. 15 Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.
17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”
22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.
And it was good. We have Noah through God to thank for all the wonderful animals that surround us today. Such faith is, fortunately, not required of us, for few can be as righteous as Noah, but it is a model to work towards throughout our lives.
And at the end that great & good man, Noah, did what we can all do every day & indeed in every moment of every day, he thanked God for his blessings.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”