God’s Covenant with
the “beasts of the field & fowls of heaven”
By Pastor F. M. Riley
“And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely,” Hosea 2:18.
Dear readers, here is one more passage of inspired Scripture that few people in the churches and the ranks of Christianity today are even aware of, even though their pastors and teachers are supposed to be preaching and teaching them “the whole counsel of God,” Acts 20:26-27. This is a “Millennial Kingdom” prophecy in God’s Word, which gives true believers more insight into the wonderful things the Lord God has prepared for His people in “the ages to come,” 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 2:7. But since this passage, along with many other Millennial Kingdom passages, is seldom if ever, even mentioned to God’s people today, then what motivation is there for the average believer to be eagerly looking forward to the coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom? Well…???
By the way, when Paul referred to “preaching the whole counsel of God” he was referring in the most part at that time to the Old Testament Scriptures from which he was preaching, for any reader with spiritual sense above a duck knows that most of the New Testament had not yet been written at that time. Yet today nearly every New Covenant preacher preaches only and always from the New Testament and never touches the Old Testament. Is there something wrong with this picture??? I’ll let our readers decide for themselves? Now let’s examine our subject for this Bible study…..
The animals, creeping things, and birds of the air were all created by the Lord God before He created mankind upon the earth, Genesis 1:20-25. Why? Because they were created by the Lord God for the benefit of mankind! [Stated without apology to the tree huggers and environmentalists]. Notice that they were created on the 5th and 6th days of the week in Genesis 1. After creating the animals and birds and creeping things, the last creative act of the Lord God recorded in Genesis 1 was the creation of mankind “in the image of God” on the evening of the 6th day of the week, 1:26-27. No animal or bird on earth bears “the image of God! Only mankind bears that image, whether some like it or not!
Compare 1:26-27 with the explicit statement of the Lord God in Genesis 2:1-2, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.” Does this imply that the Lord God’s work in creating mankind extended slightly over into the 7th day? If so, is it possible that the Lord God created mankind on the earth exactly as the 6th day of the week was ending and the 7th day was beginning, in a perfect type of the future resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, “the second Adam,” Matthew 28:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:45? Does this also imply that the bodily resurrection of New Covenant believers [or of the believing “remnant” of Israel] will occur just as the 6th 1,000 year day of God’s Great Week is ending and the 7th 1,000 year day is beginning? 2 Peter 3:8! Think about it!
But there is something far more important here than mere speculation, something that most Christian believers appear to have totally overlooked or ignored.
Every animal and bird that the Lord God had created was brought to Adam and he gave names to
them all, 2:19-20. No, this would not have been impossible for Adam as the “willingly ignorant” evolutionists claim today. When animals and birds are classified by family groups [related species] rather than individually, somewhere between 1000 and 1,500 family groups are all that exist in the world today. Adam could easily have given names to each family group. We living today call a cow a “Cow” because that is what Adam originally named it 6,000 years ago, and it includes all of the cattle in the related family of cattle. We call a dog a “Dog” because that is what Adam named it 6,000 years ago, and all of the different mutations in the family of dogs are included. And so on…!
Back then the animals and birds brought to Adam were apparently able to converse with Adam, and Adam with them. We find evidence of this in Eve’s conversation with the serpent in Genesis 3. The first Divinely Inspired Scripture in this chapter explicitly states that “the serpent” “said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” It is glaringly obvious that Eve did not find it strange that the serpent was talking to her in a language she could easily understand. And she replied to the serpent. Today wouldn’t it be considered rather dumb for a man or woman to be carrying on a conversation; especially an argument or debate, with an animal, knowing that the animal could neither understand nor answer them? Yet this is exactly what Eve was doing, and the serpent was replying to her, and the two of them were conversing back and forth, Genesis 3:1-5. This leads me to believe that in the beginning it was possible that mankind could converse with all of the animals and birds and creeping things which God had created.
Yes, I am well aware that the conversation was actually between Satan and Eve, Revelation 12:9. Nevertheless, back then there was an actual “serpent” involved. We know this to be true, because it was actual, literal serpents that the Lord God placed a curse upon in Genesis 3:14-15, stating that from that day forward “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” Now today 6,000 years later, all serpents still travel or move on their belly. I personally suspect that the serpent in the garden, which was a natural being, yielded his body to be possessed by Satan, who is a spiritual being. If some reader has a better explanation, I am wide open to hearing it.
While many preachers today refer to this account in Genesis while preaching on the fall of Adam, and thereby the fall of mankind, how many today pay any attention to the conversation being carried on between Eve and the serpent? The inspired Word explicitly states that the serpent spoke to Eve and she answered and conversed with him. This certainly implies that back then mankind could converse with the animals, birds, and creeping things which God had created for man to “have dominion” over, Genesis 1:26-28. Now are our readers going to believe what God’s Word actually and literally says, or is this account just to be explained away as so many do today? Be careful how you answer! God is listening!
It is also interesting to note that God Himself spoke to the serpent and placed a curse upon him, telling him that thereafter serpents would crawl on their bellies, 3:14. I see no reason why the Lord God would have spoken to the serpent unless the serpent was able to understand what the Lord God was saying. Hello! The Lord’s curse placed upon the serpent strongly suggests that serpents might have once had legs to walk upon, and perhaps even the ability to stand upright. It is fascinating that evolutionary biologists claim to have discovered that snakes do have the “nubs” of what were apparently once legs still sprouting from their skeletal structure. Once in a while scientists do accidently discover something that confirms the truth of God’s Word. Read Psalms 76:10. Give them enough time and they would eventually confirm the whole Bible. Glory to God!
Apparently the ability of mankind and animals to communicate with one another was lost in the fall, or perhaps taken away at the time of the flood in the days of Noah. But don’t miss the fact that both mankind and animals and birds were all vegetarians right up to the time of the flood, Genesis 1:29-30. It is highly possible that the animals and birds did not even have a “wild” nature until after the flood.
But following the flood in the days of Noah, some 1656 years after the creation of Adam upon the earth, the Lord God brought the flood of judgment upon mankind who had wickedly departed from following the Lord. I personally believe, that in order to protect the animals and birds from extinction at the hands of wicked men, the Lord God then gave to them a “wild” nature and made them to become meat eaters. Likewise, the Lord God gave to mankind the command and choice of becoming meat eaters. Genesis 9:1-6. And so it has been from that day to the present time…..
Animals and the Sacrificial Offerings
Surely all of our readers have noticed that from the very beginning of human history sheep and goats, and cattle such as bulls and heifers, and birds such as turtledoves and pigeons were offered to God as sacrificial offerings by His people, Genesis 4:2-5; 8:20-21. Why these particular animals and birds?
For two reasons….. First, these animals and birds were totally innocent of any involvement in the great transgression against God at Eden. Second, these animals and birds fell into the category of being “clean.” See Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.
Throughout God’s Word the only sacrifices which God would accept were sacrifices that were “holy” and “innocent.” This is why our Supreme Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was “accepted for us” as He suffered and died at Calvary, and why He is referred to in the Scriptures as “the Lamb of God.” The totally innocent died to pay the sin debt of the altogether guilty. Glory to God! Thank you Lord Jesus! Praise the Lord!
Since the Flood
Since the time of the flood in “the days of Noah” all animals, birds, and creeping things have had a “wild nature” and most have been eaters of flesh, except for the relatively few creatures which mankind has been able to “domesticate” [tame]. This condition is perfectly in harmony with what the Lord God said to Noah, “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat [food] for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things,” Genesis 9:2-3. Mankind also has been a meat eater since the flood as stated by the Lord God in 9:3-4. Therefore since the flood mankind has stalked and hunted for animals and birds and other creatures that they have had a desire to eat, or simply a desire to kill and proudly display as a “trophy.” Sic! The animals and birds have literally been forced to live in constant fear for their lives at the hand of man for the past nearly 4,400 years since the flood. Right to this day the animals and birds try to hide themselves in the woods, jungles, mountains, and dens of the earth away from their most feared enemy; mankind. We might correctly say that a “state of war” has existed between mankind and the creatures of the earth ever since the time of the flood some 4,400 years ago.
But, glory to God, hallelujah, praise the Lord, PEACE is coming!
Right today some “professing Christians” read such passages as Isaiah 11:6-9 and 65:25, and claim that these passages are just “figurative” language not meant to be taken literally. Oh is that so? No! It is not so! Such a claim is a corruption of the Word and an outright denial of the truth of the Word.
Dear readers, in the 59 years I have been in the Lord’s ministry, I have never seen anyone get themselves in spiritual trouble with the Lord for believing His Word as literal truth, but I have seen many people get into spiritual trouble for refusing to literally believe the Word of God. I fully understand that the inspired Word contains figures of speech, parables, riddles, signs, symbols, and symbolic language just as any other book ever written also does. The Lord God wrote His Word in the language and form which men commonly use in communicating with one another, for He was writing for men, and desired that men would be able to understand what He was saying. This doesn’t change the fact that every figure of speech in God’s Word, every parable, every riddle, every sign and symbol in the Word is conveying literal truth. It is up to the reader to look to the Lord for spiritual discernment to understand the literal truth that the Lord God is setting forth in any given portion of His Word. John 16:12-15. Hello!
A few weeks ago I wrote and posted a Bible study entitled “The Supper God is Preparing.” This study has to do with the great supper God is preparing to recompense the animals and birds for their
centuries of having to live in constant fear upon the earth of being killed by men. I will be glad to send this study to any reader upon request.
In Isaiah 11:6-9 the inspired Word explicitly states, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid [young goat]; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
In Isaiah 65:25 the inspired Word explicitly states, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord.” See also Job 5:23.
Folks, these prophecies are going to be literally fulfilled, whether some want to believe it or not. Why? First, because at the time of the Millennial Kingdom the Lord God is going to remove the curse that all of creation was placed under when Adam transgressed God’s Law [only one law; not ten] and fell. Significantly, the removal of this curse will begin with the resurrection and rapture of New Covenant believers just preceding the beginning of the Tribulation period, Romans 8:18-23.
Second, the Lord God is going to make a Covenant with the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air which will be of benefit to both man and the living creatures.
If our readers will carefully study Hosea 2, the entire chapter, the context clearly indicates that the Lord God is speaking to and about Israel and the Jewish people. He explicitly states that He will bring them “into the wilderness,” 2:14. This is the same “wilderness” that the Israelites wandered in some 3,500 years ago when they left the land of Egypt. It is the same “wilderness” that the Lord God told them to flee to when “the abomination of desolation” is set up during the Tribulation, Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14. It is exactly where the Lord God said that He would bring the Jews to during the Tribulation period, Ezekiel 20:33-38.
But in that wilderness even today are bears, lions, wolves, and other carnivorous beasts. So if nothing changed, the Jewish people would not only have to fear the pursuing armies of the anti-christ who will be set on destroying them, but they would also have to fear the hungry half starved beasts who will be looking for easy prey. Remember that during the first half of the Tribulation there will be no rain upon the earth, Revelation 11:6. The animals will be suffering from hunger just as will mankind, Joel 1:15-20.
But the gracious Lord God has an answer for this problem. While still speaking to and about the Jewish people, He says in Hosea 2:18, “And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” Notice that this covenant is two-fold; that is, it benefits both the Jewish people and the animals and birds.
 This covenant with the beasts and birds and creeping things will permit the Jewish people to lie down and sleep safely. Right here notice Ezekiel 34:25, “And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.” Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
 But notice also that the Lord God explicitly states that He will “break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth.” Men will no longer hunt animals and birds for food as they do today. I highly suspect that the animals and birds that we label as being “wild” today, will have that “wild nature” taken from them, and both men and animals will go back to being vegetarians again, as they were before the flood in the days of Noah. Then both men and animals and birds will live in “peace” with one another again, as the Lord God originally intended.
What is SOON coming upon the earth!
Since the Lord God will make a covenant with the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air in
order to allow His people to lay down and sleep in the woods in safety, it is also highly possible that the ability for mankind to converse with the animals and birds will be restored. Will not that be wonderful? Are there any of our readers that have not wished at some time or another that they could speak to their faithful pet dog or cat and express their love for them, and know that their pet could understand what they were saying? Are there any of our readers who have not looked at the beauty of the coats and manes of lions and tigers and cheetahs and bears and other animals and not wished they could pet them or speak to them, or hold and cuddle and play with their young offspring? How would you like to have a beautiful tiger or lion or bear to walk along with you as your dog or cat does now? And have the ability to converse with them?
No, I haven’t lost my mind, and I’m not engaging in fantasy. I truly believe that all the enmity between man and the animals and birds is going to be removed, so that there will truly be “on earth peace, goodwill toward men,” Luke 2:14.
The Psalmist was inspired to write, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace,” Psalm 37:11. Dear old Prophet Isaiah was inspired to write, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands,” Isaiah 55:12.
An often asked Question…..
Dear readers, I have preached in churches, revival efforts, Bible and Prophecy conferences, Camp meetings, Vacation Bible schools, and various other meetings all over this nation in past years (and would still like to, health permitting). In these meetings I have often been asked, “Preacher, what will happen to my pet? Will my pet dog or cat be in Heaven? I love my dog [or cat] like my own child and want so much for them to be with me in Heaven.”
Folks, what the Word of God actually states about the death of animals is found in Ecclesiastes 3:21, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Notice that this book was written by Solomon, the wisest man who had ever lived on the earth at that time in human history, and that he posed it as a question. Not even Solomon knew the answer to his question. However…..
I want to give our readers another passage from God’s inspired Word which may or may not have a bearing on this often asked question. In Psalm 37:4 we are explicitly told to “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” It appears to me that true believers hold the key to what happens to their pets that they love so very much. How much does the Lord God really mean to you? How much of your time, energy, money, and possessions are dedicated to loving and serving Him, and studying and sharing His Word and witness with others for whom He died? Search your own heart! Do you really “delight thyself in the Lord?”
Do you really believe His promises are faithful? The inspired Word says, “For all the promises of God in Him [Christ Jesus] are yea [Yes], and in Him Amen; unto the glory of God by us,” 1 Corinthians 1:20. Do you believe this? How much do you believe it?
If you really and truly “delight” yourself in the Lord, doesn’t the inspired Word say that He will give you the “desires of your heart?” Well…?? Do you really believe it? Do you really want that beloved pet to be in Heaven with you? Have you ever seriously talked to the Lord about it? Folks, I cannot give you a Scripture that says that your beloved pet will be with you in Heaven. There is no such Scripture in God’s Word, for the entire Word of God is concerned with the salvation of the souls of men. Yet it does appear that true believers, through their own “delight” in the Lord, or their lack of it, hold the key to whether their beloved pets will join them in Heaven. Is it the desire of your heart to have your beloved pet with you in Heaven? Then “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” This is all the answer I can give to anyone who asks me this question.
However I cannot omit a personal testimony from this study. Are there cats and dogs in Heaven?
Several years ago a young couple living in Columbia, Missouri had a precious three year old daughter. I do not remember now what happened to her, but she became deathly ill and was rushed to the hospital, where her heart totally stopped beating. She died! The doctors worked on her feverishly and after seven minutes her heart started beating again. The doctors told her parents that her brain had been deprived of oxygen for seven minutes and that if they were able to bring her back, she would be nothing but a mental vegetable. Folks, doctors are not God and they do not have all the answers. I wish a lot more people would wake up to this fact today, and quit swallowing hook, line, and sinker, all the medical propaganda your doctor tells you. After seven minutes the little girl was revived, and she was perfectly normal. From that minute she began to recover from her sickness and three days later was well enough that she could leave the hospital and go home.
Now fast forward three months. The little girl and her mother were eating lunch one day when the little girl looked at her mother and with a wistful sigh said, “I sure wish I could see Jesus again.” Her mother was astonished at her statement, but then quietly asked her, “When did you see Jesus?” Her little daughter told her, “When I was so sick in the hospital.” Her mother then asked her, “What were you and Jesus doing?” The little girl replied to her mother, “We were just walking along talking. I was holding Jesus’ hand and playing with the puppies. Then Jesus told me that I had to go back for a while, and I woke up in the hospital bed.”
Folks, I don’t believe for a minute that the Lord God is going to deprive His children of those innocent and holy pleasures of this life that have been such a blessing to us during this present life. Draw your own conclusions.
Dear readers, I could go on and on referring to and quoting the poetic prophecies of God’s Word that so thrill the hearts of true beleivers who read these passages. These prophecies give us just a glimpse of the wonderful things that God has in store in the very near future for those who truly love Him, 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 2:7. Seriously study the Word and read these wonderful promises of God for yourself.
However, if any of our readers are not truly saved, then they are going to miss all of these wonderful things the Lord God of Heaven has prepared for His people. I admonish our readers, yea, I beg any reader who has not received the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior, to seek the Lord Jesus today for salvation. Time is running out for the lost to be saved. Don’t put it off! Tomorrow may be just one day too late for you to seek the Lord! Today is “the day of salvation,” 2 Corinthians 6:2. Take a Bible and carefully read, while asking the Lord in simple prayer for enlightenment, John 3:16, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, 20:21, Romans 10:8-13, 10:17, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:5. The Lord God will save any person who truly desires His salvation and is willing to ask Him for it in sincere prayer. Then, and only then, will you be ready for our Lord’s SOON coming, and for the joys and blessings He has in store for His people. Won’t you seek the Lord today?
I would like to meet every reader in glory when the Lord comes for His people. Please don’t disappoint me.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
This ministry is supported solely by the free will offerings of those readers who believe themselves to be “led of the Lord” to help us send forth God’s wonderful Word.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or to: email@example.com
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