“So God created the creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teams, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:21). In this verse God is laying claim to everything. There is no bird, nor aquatic creature that he has not created. Even the most monstrous of sea creatures is his work. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of them all.
This claiming of all birds and sea creatures is critical, especially in light of the culture Genesis was written in. Ancient societies thought that the great creatures of the sea (translated by some as monsters, the tanninim) were the products of the gods. They were hideous creatures, demonic in origin, outside the realm of Yahweh’s Lordship. Clearly the author (through the Spirit’s revelation) is demythologising these great sea “monsters.” The question arises: “Why are these great sea creatures such a threat to life?” The text communicates emphatically that they were created good. However, leviathan, the killer whale, the sea dragon and other similar creatures do not seem good at all.
How can we make sense of all this?
The answer is that when humans sinned against God, the animal kingdom was corrupted. Death and hostility not only came to man, but to all of God’s creation. Mankind was the covering and steward of God’s creation and his disobedience had an adverse effect on the kingdom that was placed under his authority. With the inception of sin came the devolution of the animal kingdom and as a result the lion and the lamb can no longer lie down together. This is why the apostles taught that the purpose of the cross is to reconcile “all things” to God—not just human kind. God is concerned about redeeming everything he has created.
Prayer: Father, when I can’t make sense of things cause me to remember that the world is not in the state that you originally designed for it. The evil and suffering is a result of our sin––it’s not your fault. And yet, you took the responsibility and on the cross you died to reconcile “all things” to yourself. Thank you, Jesus.