Life is precious. Man is made in God’s image, after his likeness (Genesis 1:26). We are formed by God’s hand and inspired with God’s very breath (Genesis 2:6-7).
You can even see this in the holiness codes in Leviticus. Unclean animals, generally, are the ones that scavenge on the dead. People are made ceremonially unclean when they come into contact with death or even things that represent new life not beginning.
In this week’s daily Bible reading, a line in Genesis 9 stood out to me. God warned humanity that he would require an accounting whenever blood was shed. That didn’t surprise me; I remembered when Abel was murdered that his blood cried out from the ground (4:10). Of course humans are accountable when they take life!
What surprised me was that God said “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man” (9:5).
Evidently, human life is so sacred that God will even call into judgment the wild animals that take it.
There’s even a law in Exodus 21:28 that calls for the execution of an ox that gores a person to death. If its owner was grossly negligent, the owner might meet the same fate.
Life is incredibly special, a gift to be cherished. Let’s make sure that we treat every human life the way God intends for us to.