Were animals created thousands, even millions of years before man, hunting, devouring and destroying one another as they do now? Was there death on this earth before the fall of mankind? What is death? Death is when something with life dies. Does that mean plant death? No. God tells us in Leviticus and many other places that the life is in the blood of the creature. "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. 1 "
So, death is when someone or something with blood in it dies. But, from where did death come?
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin...2 "
Adam was created originally to live forever. When Adam disobeyed God, not only did he die spiritually, but he was also cursed with real, physical death, which he was never supposed to experience under the original plan, under the original state of the earth. Not only did he bring death to himself, but the above passage affirms that death, itself, entered this world through Adam. Before the sin of Adam, there was no death. And now, death reigns. I believe the Bible supports that the animals in Eden were created to live forever as well. All of creation fell under this same curse as Adam and mankind. All animals now had to die because they were subjected to the consequences of their original master's rebellion. Old-earth creationists believe that animal death is not a part of the curse on this earth, that animals were carnivorous and killing each other before Adam's sin. But the Biblical account is that according to God's standards of perfection, he considered the earth very good. Very good to a perfect God, is much better than very good to sinful man. Very good to Perfection is that which is without sin, death and decay. Sin, death and decay is what animals killing one another would necessitate; for the ferocious behavior that requires one animal to devour another and the dead animals decomposition is rooted in sin, death and decay. God's description of our restored creation is one of peace and harmony between animals. Those are necessary conditions for the creation to be classified as "very good" again.If it were the case that animals were eating one another before Adam was created, then animals would certainly be likely to kill Adam as well. That can not be, since he was never to die until he committed the sin that brought death into the world, as it says in Romans 5:12.
The Bible clearly says that all of creation, all created things, are in a state of disorder, futility and chaos, and are groaning for the day of redemption. When the day of redemption comes, not only will Christians enjoy freedom from , animals and the whole universe will also. "...in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 3" The whole creation would necessarily translate to include animals as part of creation.When redemption comes to Christians, redemption will also come to all creation. The earth will be restored to its original condition. What will that look like? Isaiah gives us a glimpse of creation during that time.
"The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
And the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain. 4""The last enemy that will be abolished is death.5 " Do you see how animals will also be set free from death at the redemption? Lions will no longer eat flesh, but will be herbivorous, like the ox. If this is the hope for which all of creation is groaning, does it not stand to reason that the current state of affairs, which is quite a different picture from this passage in Isaiah, is not part of the original plan for the animals? Currently, all of creation is under a curse. The curse for animals will be lifted at the time of redemption and death will no longer reign. A little child can lead a lion: The curse currently prohibits this from occurring as lions are carnivorous and eat flesh. The lion will eat straw: it is the curse that causes the lion to need flesh. The snake will not bite the child: the curse causes the snake to fear man and destroy him. The leopard will not hunger for the flesh of the goat: the curse brings with it a flesh eating leopard. So the question we must ask is "Was there animal death before the sin of Adam?" If the answer is "no," then an old-earth creationist approach, no matter how much scientific "evidence" is given, does not support the Biblical account of creation. For, even if we have long creation days, which the Hebrew word "yom" combined with morning and evening does not support, we can not have carnivorous animals roaming the earth, death and decay, harm and destruction, or any other entropy that marks the world's current condition during these supposed long days of creation. Scripture records the first death as two animals that were sacrificed by God for the sin of Adam and Eve. The lives of these animals were taken in order to "cover" Adam and Eve. This foreshadows Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, which covers our sins once and for all. That is why Christ is called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. This first animal sacrifice was a model for men to follow. That is why Abel's sacrifice was accepted, it was like the one God showed them He required. If we sin, blood is required for that sin. Our lives are required for our sin. But Jesus took the penalty. Instead of our blood, He gave His. He died, not just for us, but instead of us. If blood were not required for our sin, then Jesus did not need to die for us and calling him the Lamb of God would be in vain. We all deserve hell and eternal damnation because we are in continual rebellion against a Holy God. But Jesus took our punishment for us and gave us the right to become children of God. Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren. We, if we believe that Jesus took the penalty for our sins, are no longer under the curse wherein we must suffer eternal death for our sins, but are given the right to have eternal life and eventually be restored to an earth that will be like the original creation! The reason I believe young earth creationism is the valid view of origins is because an exegetical look at Scripture leads to this conclusion. I understand there are other views, and I am not one to scream heresy at those who hold different views. However, evolution is a theory, often taught as fact. I believe old-earth creationism finds its roots in men desiring to take from fallible man, whose scientific facts change from year to year, and marry it to Scripture, in the hope of keeping their faith in science and their faith in the science wrought of man alive, as they avoid denying their faith in God. However, old earth creationism, for all its scientific erudition, lacks sound Biblical exegesis. My science course is careful not to be divisive of Christians who believe in an old-earth model. I do believe that one day, science, as it "evolves" will continually point to the truth of a young earth. Could it be in ten years, a hundred? Whenever it is, I believe a multitude of people will have to scrap their beliefs and experience a total transformation of their worldview. Won't that be an interesting day?