Seeing the Hand of God at the Zoo

My wife Stacie and I recently made a trip to the Dallas zoo.  It occurred to me that any zoo reminds Christians of several important truths:

(1) God has created living creatures according to their kinds (Genesis 1:24-25).  There are hippos, lions, deer, snakes, spiders, turtles, giraffes, monkeys, bears, tigers, birds, and so many more. 

(2) God oversees the goings-on in his creation.  God asked Job, “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?  Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?  Do you count the months till they bear?  Do you know the time they give birth?” (Job 39:1-2).  Also to Job, “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” (39:19).  And, “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings toward the south?” (39:26).  The vast variety of animals testifies to God’s power and wisdom. 

(3) Man is not an animal.  “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Genesis 1:26).  Man is not an animal on par with the creatures of the earth.  God created man in his own image, and he gave man dominion over the living creatures.  God made man–not animals–in his image. 

Next time you are at a zoo, I hope you will think of the above truths.  And, parents, a zoo is a great place to teach your children things about God.  Remember that God made the animals according to their kinds, his creative work testifies to his power and wisdom, and God gave man dominion over the animals.  One final note: as I walked around the Dallas zoo and beheld the animals from the smallest to the largest, I thought Evolution truly is ridiculous.

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World-Proof Your Kids, by Tim Sisemore

This two-hundred page book is the most concise and practical guide to training up children in the instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4) that I have seen in years.  Published in 2007, this book is a must-get for Christian parents. 

The subtitle is “Raising Children Unstained By the World.”  Sisemore is concerned about the growing rate of worldly children raised by professing Christian parents.  It seems that Christian parents in America face a multitude of obstacles to biblical parenting.  So Sisemore comes to the rescue with…the BIBLE!  Who would have thought, right?  Sisemore’s book is laden with Scripture, particularly the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. 

Here is a quote to whet your appetite: “The most troubling sign in our prodigals is a lack of conflict in their souls, when they simply don’t care that they are sinning.  One wonders if such young people are in the Kingdom of God, and our prayers should follow that implication” (p. 31). 

Also: “The self-focused type of love underlies the new tradition of ‘church-hopping.’  It is rare for children to grow in one community and know only one church family for their years of minority…Most often, families move from church to church in an effort to satisfy their selfish tastes…Taste, not Scripture, dictates the style and content of worship.  If the style isn’t right, the family moves to another church with one they like better” (p. 63).  Ouch! 

Another: “The most common excuse for letting unkind acts be is that ‘boys will be boys,’ as though simply the maleness makes these actions morally acceptable…We are being trained to view meanness as a way to get a good laugh, seeing it as only natural and thus not in need of change or challenge” (p. 110).  Ouch again. 

One more: “Our children are raised on ever-more clever and persuasive advertisements aimed mercilessly at their fallen desires and impulses.  When parents conspire to reward the resultant desires in our children, we actively work against the foundations of self-control, the ability to give up the immediate in service to greater goals” (p. 174). 

Parents, get this book.  Buy one for another parent you know.  Do a small-group study of this book in your church.  After you read it, take a breather, put on some coffee…and then start reading it again.  May the Lord raise up children who bear the fruit of the Spirit because He used this book to awaken parents to godly instruction and discipline.