Today’s verse talks about the way people treat their animals as being a way to judge their character. I find this interesting because we see more and more animal abuse and neglect as the incidence of other forms of crime, abuse and neglect rise.
Proverbs 12: 10
10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin Upright: Adhering strictly to moral principles
regards: 1. To give heed; pay attention 2. To take into account; consider. 3. Obsolete: To take care of.
Synonyms: regard, esteem, admiration, respect
These nouns refer to a feeling based on perception of and approval for the worth of a person or thing
mercies: 1. Compassionate treatment 2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving 3. Alleviation of distress; relief 4. humane and kind, sympathetic, or forgiving treatment of or disposition toward others
wicked: 1. Evil by nature and in practice 2. Highly offensive; obnoxious
cruel: predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others
By using the definitions of the main words of the Bible Text, we see that people that are morally upright, or adhere strictly to moral principles, will pay attention to the care of their animals. They feel that there is worth in living things, and that they have feelings and need love.
By contrast, those people that are evil by nature and in practice, and that are predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others, just don’t seem to have the capacity within themselves to give humane and kind, sympathetic or compassionate treatment even to their animals. Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruits..."
This is SO SAD! I feel that one of the main ways to change people is to change their hearts, and only love, and in particular, the Love of God and His forgiveness in lives, will do that. When we ask Jesus into our lives to wash us from the sins we’ve repented of, and to become the LORD and Savior in our lives, then HE will change us from within, and when He comes again, Romans 8:21-23 tells us:
Romans 8: 21 – 23 (NKJV)
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.