A righteous man takes care of his animal, but the wicked? Even his compassion is cruel. Proverbs 12:10
When God placed His creation under our care, He included the animals. Not just in a utilitarian way – providing food and shelter so they have the strength to plow our fields – but in kindness. Even animals raised for food should be treated humanely. Kosher has some of the strictest rules to avoid pain and suffering of an animal – not just during its slaughter but also during its life.
Another version of the verse above is that the righteous man “knows the burdens” of his animal. He understands the needs and limits of the animal and provides for them. Animals in our care are dependent on us – whether they are work animals or pets. Failure to consider what they require is cruel. Compassion dictates that we learn how best to make them flourish.
It becomes a picture of God’s care for us. He knows me, knows my needs and He cares for me as one of His flock. He understands my burdens and won’t break me with a load too heavy. I am dependent on His provision and am grateful He is kind and compassionate toward His creation. Let’s learn from His example and do likewise.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19