“In the same week, all of the caribou stop eating. They turn, like iron shavings to a magnet, in groups of five, 10, to 200,000. They cross mountains to their mating ground. How is this possible? They are called by God.”
–Peter Illyn, describing the caribou migration in the Artic
© Tom Gable
Can animals perceive the presence of God? Do they know that he exists, that there is something beyond themselves? At first thought, it seems ridiculous. “Of course they don’t know there is a God, they are animals for goodness sake”. But after contemplating the idea I do not know if it is that ridiculous. If they were created by God why would it be absurd to think that they would know there is a God?
This idea and your personal opinions on it are of little consequence but nonetheless I find it a fascinating idea, and pleasing in a very elementary way. It seems like an idea I would have thought as a young boy.
And to further the point, here are a few verses that i think might imply the relationship of animals and their perception of God:
- “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thickets? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?” -Job 38:39-41
- “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?” -Job 39:26-27
- “The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats … the young lions roar for their prey seeking their food from God … These all look to You, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.” -Psalm 104:17-29
- “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, and not only creation, but we ourselves” – Romans 8: 22-23