Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
- Psalm 36:5-6
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
- Isaiah 11:6
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.
- Isaiah 65:25
Mark Lowry created a short comedy routine entitled Dogs Go to Heaven. Okay, it is mostly ADHD rambling, but it is decidedly funny. In it he says a lot that is not in the Bible, claiming that it is, but what he says is what most people think and were taught, if they were brought up in the church.
Before we go any further, I do not claim to be a great oracle. I have no clue what gets to go to Heaven. We started with Scripture, but before we get to the Scripture, all which Mark Lowry uses, sort of, let’s view the comedy routine.
First, Psalm 36:6 does not have the word “heaven” in it. You must include Psalm 36:5 to get that word, but God has protective hand upon both the humans and the animals. But does that mean that all creatures go to Heaven? Just a question. I don’t know. And as for dogs going to Heaven and cats going to Hell, that was just Mark Lowry being his hilarious self, with a remarkable observation regarding both animals.
But Mark also says what I have heard since … I have no idea when. Maybe before kindergarten in Sunday school. “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” There are two verses in the Bible that have “lion” and “lamb” in them, and they are both shown above. In Isaiah 11, the wolf lives with the lamb. Specifically, it makes no reference to “sleeping” or even “sitting.” The calf, lion, and yearling are together, led by the child. In Isaiah 65, the wolf and lamb dine together, and the lion eats straw like an ox. In what century did someone mash those verses together to state: “The lion shall lie down with the lamb”? It has been so often misquoted ever since, even committed to memorable art. Most dating back to the American Quaker artist Edward Hicks in the 1830s. But was the expression mashed long before then?
But enough of that, the idea of locking your wife and your dog in your trunk, going inside to watch a television show, and then coming out, unlocking the truck, and seeing which one is happy to see you … Then claiming that the one happy to see you is not the woman you married, but …”the Christian!” That is side splitting humor. And if it gets people like me to look up those verses and figure out what the Bible really says, it is all worth it.
Thank you, Mark Lowry.
But that is just a preliminary to an interrupted conversation that I halfway eavesdropped into at the end – totally losing context. One of our friends and a member of our Sunday school class had been telling my wife about how she helped clean the church, helping the custodian. The lady is older than we are, but she seems spry. Then as they ended the conversation, our friend said something about if she did not see us next week when Sunday school starts, she’ll see us in Heaven. Having not heard our friend talk about helping the custodian, I was lost at my wife’s response, “I’ll know which one is you. You’ll be the one cleaning Heaven.”
At that, they laughed, just as the pastor was trying to get everyone’s attention to start the service.
And as the pastor was making some announcements, my mind went into the strangest rabbit hole that it has ever gone down. And if you read what I have written before, I have gone down some strange rabbit holes.
My mind thought: What will there be in Heaven to clean?!
Most dust is dead skin cells. There won’t be any of those.
Then I thought of dust mites. Will there be dust mites in Heaven? I mean, if there are dogs, cats, lions, lambs, wolves, and such, where do you stop? Are we so prejudiced toward big creatures that we think little creatures like dust mites are not going to make the cut?!?!?!
Inquiring minds …
If I went further, I would have to pay somebody, but you know what I mean.
And again, let me make this clear. I am asking questions. I do not know the answers.
Someone could argue that if the food source was taken away, why would the animal be around? But look what happens to the lion. It is not that the lion lies down with the lamb, if it ever does, but the lion will be eating grass.
Could the dust mite still be around, not bothering anybody, because I would consider frustration a “pain” and being bothered would be frustrating and there is no pain in Heaven. The dust mite could be eating microscopic grass. I suppose if there is microscopic grass in Heaven, somebody has to eat it.
Other than asking questions, I am submitting this as an apology to the pastor while he was going through those announcements. If it looked like my mind was a million miles away, it was. Then again, how far away is Heaven from here? Oh, no. Please!! Yet, another question that does not have an answer.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.