10 Sin-Cursed Animals That Still Show Divine Design

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Introduction

Animals fascinate humans. Whether playing with the family pet or gawking at the zoo wildlife, we marvel at the variety and complexity of these creatures. In this series, we’ll discover the divine design of a few of these animals.

  1. Platypus: the Mystery Mammal
  2. Honeybees: One of God’s Sweetest Designs
  3. Blue Whale: the Mammoth of the Sea
  4. Giraffe: the Beast That Doesn’t Blow Its Brains out
  5. Bats: Equipped for the Hunt
  6. Emperor Penguin: Equipped for Life at the “Bottom” of the World
  7. Gecko: Designed to Climb
  8. Bombardier Beetle: the Arsenal Insect
  9. Elephant: the Giant with a Trunk Tool
  10. Incubator Bird: the Turkey with a Built-in Thermometer

In school, many of us eagerly studied our biology textbook chapters on the animal kingdom. Those authoritative pages likely confronted us with the evolutionary tree of life, which looks logical. Plants and animals are arranged in a proposed order, showing connections in relationships and progression in complexity from the supposed first common ancestor. For example, their tree of life shows birds having evolved from dinosaurs and humans having evolved from an ape-like ancestor.

Evolutionists view observable data through their worldview.

Of course, that tree of life is an imaginary one, drawn to demonstrate the tenets of evolution. Evolutionists view observable data through their worldview, pictured by this tree of life. Thus, when a creationist sees divine design in an animal like the bombardier beetle, the evolutionist will interpret that design as resulting from natural selection, random mutations, and other genetic mechanisms over time.

The Real Tree of Life

In contrast to evolution based on human reasoning apart from God’s Word, the biblical creationist worldview is founded on God’s Word, the Bible. In the Bible’s first pages, we read about the real tree of life. After creating the heavens and the earth, plants and animals according to their kinds, and mankind in his own image, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden with the tree of life. But when Adam rebelled against God, Adam brought the curse of sin and death into the world, infecting the entire human race descending from him (Romans 5:12). The curse affected the whole creation, including the animals (Genesis 3:14–19; Romans 8:20–22).

To keep Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of life, God drove them out of the garden (Genesis 3:22–24). This punishment shows God’s grace in keeping Adam and Eve from living forever in their fallen state. God’s plan was to conquer sin as well as death. He sent His Son to earth as a man. Jesus walked on water, multiplied food, and healed the sick, showing his power over creation as the Creator (John 1:3).

As the perfect Son of God, Jesus did not deserve to die—death is the punishment for sinners (Romans 6:23). Yet Jesus died on the Cross to take the punishment sinners deserve (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). Because he poured out his wrath on Jesus instead of sinners, God grants eternal life to those who turn to Jesus in repentant faith (John 3:36). Free from the curse in heaven, believers can one day partake of the new tree of life (Revelation 22:2–3, 14).

Amazing Diversity

God created animals with amazing genetic diversity and variations have also occurred within the original created kinds of animals since the Fall.

So as you read this series, keep in mind that animals have not evolved into higher life forms but rather God created animals with amazing genetic diversity. Variations have also occurred within the original created kinds of animals since the Fall. Yes, they have adapted in relation to their environments via a variety of genetic mechanisms. But these changes have resulted in a loss, alteration, recombination, or selection of pre-existing genetic material, not a gain that could change them into entirely different kinds.

As you learn more about these animals, share their divine design with your evolutionist friends. Point out the limits of evolution in providing explanations for the origin of such design. Although they may struggle to explain how such “accidents” evolved, their presuppositions pictured by their tree of life will likely guide their thinking. Instead of arguing with them, introduce them to God’s Word. The Bible’s truth stands in sharp contrast to the naturalist’s attempt to explain away the reality of the Creator. No one can escape accountability on his day of judgment (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7; Revelation 20:15). Pray that your friends may turn in faith to the only Source of eternal life—Jesus Christ.

Don’t be fooled by the evolutionary tree of life. As you explore the divine design evident in the creatures of this series, praise the Creator and thank him for the true tree of life that may be yours through the Lord Jesus alone.

Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

Creation Corner

Remember that everything was cursed because of man's sin (think specifically of the ground and serpent mentioned in Genesis 3). Death then intruded upon God’s perfect creation, so animals, people, and plants have had to fight for survival ever since. Because of the Curse, traits developed that would have been unnecessary before Adam sinned, like venom and stingers for attack and defense. Keep in mind, though, that not all deadly looking features necessarily had to develop! Fruit bats are a great example of how mean-looking teeth can work just as well for ripping apart vegetation, not flesh! For more about how and why deadly structures are now a part of our world, see “How Did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?

Of course some animals are impressive for their beauty and design, too. Seeing things through the lens of Scripture, we see an all-wise and intelligent God who spoke animals into existence in a perfect world that was soon marred by sin and death. We can praise the Creator for a remnant of that incredible beauty and design still. And God has also thus provided us with examples of his intelligence and provision that we can put to good use in biomimicry. Join us in giving glory to God for his loving care for us and his creation, despite the curse.

– Editor

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