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In the course of the sixth day God brought Adam into contact with animals and birds which God had created. Adam, we read, gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. We learn two very important truths from this. Firstly we must notice that Adam named the animals but they did not name him. This shows the great difference between man and the animals. It was Adam who had the capacity to understand what they were, what their functions were, by what means they existed, how they could serve him, and so on. This showed that God had placed man above the animals. Adam was not their servant but under God he was their lord. By the understanding which God had given him Adam was able to give the animals names which expressed their true nature showing that he knew how they were to be used and what advantages he could obtain from his lordship over them.
Secondly we are told in the passage that although there were so many animals, among them all, there was not found a suitable companion for Adam. It was God's purpose that man should not be alone but have a suitable help. Such a help was needed so that Adam could fulfil his calling to cultivate, govern and subdue the earth. No animal could be Adam's helper because none of them shared the faculties of the soul whereby Adam was fitted to serve God in loving obedience and daily live to his glory. To this present time we are aware of how far beneath man the animals are in this respect. By his naming the animals Adam's need for a companion like himself became apparent. This need was to be met by the creation of woman and the giving of her as an helper. By this God further manifested his fatherly kindness to Adam.
'What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas'. (Psalm 8.4-8)
Contact, important, capacity, functions, exist, express, suitable, companion, cultivate, subdue.
1. What were the animals made from? (Genesis 2.19)
2. How did their creation differ from Adam's? (Genesis 2.7 and 2.19)
3. On which day did Adam name the animals?
4. What did this naming of the animals show about Adam's relationship to the animals?
5. What need was obviously still not provided for?
6. Why could none of the animals meet this need?
7. What was man's calling?
1. See if you can write down the names of all of the animals and birds you can see from your window or in your local park.
2. Collect or draw and colour pictures of different animals, birds and fishes. Label your pictures with the correct names.
3. Study the names of animals, birds and fishes to find out if the name tells you anything about the creature called by that name. Make a start with 'hippopotamus'.
4. Prepare and complete a table like the one following.
ANIMALS AND MAN
Name of Bird, Animal or Fish
Countries Where Found
There is so much that can be learnt about the animals that we can always find out more about them. Select books to tell you more about where different animals live in the world, what sort of surroundings they live in and what they eat. See if you can learn something special about some of the more familiar creatures. Find a book to tell you in detail about such creatures as the ant, the bee, the frog and the worm. Although they are so small their lives are very complicated and their existence very important.
Find books to tell you more about 'ecology' and wild-life 'conservation'.
Psalm 24.1-2 (Common Metre)
The earth belongs unto the Lord,
and all that it contains;
The world that is inhabited,
and all that there remains.
For the foundations thereof
he on the seas did lay,
And he hath it established
upon the floods to stay.