Animals have much to teach us. We have learned many things by studying animal anatomy and behavior and made numerous advances in medicine through animal studies. For example, principles of flight, the use of sonar, robotics, and improved adhesives have all been aided by studying animals. But one thing is for sure is that we still have much to learn from the animals.
Conversely, animals also learn from humans. That is especially true of mammals and birds, which can develop special relationships with humans. Dogs were domesticated from their wild ancestors thousands of years ago and have lived side-by-side with humans ever since. They learn from us, and they help us as we help them. Dogs assist people with vision problems and other illnesses. They provide valuable help to police and rescue workers.
You may have noticed that yawning can be contagious. When a person sees another person yawning, they tend to yawn also. Try this test. While your dog is watching, start yawning. Dogs often yawn after they see a human yawn, and they are more likely to yawn in response to their owner rather than a stranger.
God commanded us to have dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28), and He gave mammals and birds the ability to relate to humans uniquely. If we pay attention, we have much to learn from the animals. In Job 12:7-10, Job said:
“But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?”
Job knew that the animals have much to tell us about the wisdom of God’s design for His creatures. Then in Job chapter 38:39 to 39:30, God uses descriptions of ten mammals and birds to show Job and his friends that they have a lot to learn. In Matthew 6:25-, Jesus told His followers that the birds can teach us a lesson about not worrying. In this time of chaos, war, and inflation, that’s a lesson we all need. Yes, we still have much to learn from the animals.
— Roland Earnst © 2022