Why does the LORD make a covenant with animals?


by Shawn Brasseaux

We read an enigmatic promise in Hosea 2:18: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” Exactly why would God want to make an agreement with animals? (Hint: It is for Israel’s benefit!)

According to the Law of Moses (Old Covenant), a series of five rounds of judgments or chastisements would come upon the Jewish people for their disobedience to the LORD. See Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28. The context of Hosea chapter 2 is Israel’s restoration and redemption from those curses or judgments of the Old Covenant, and her enjoyment of the New Covenant at Christ’s Second Coming. Israel is delivered, brought back into the Promised Land, from which the LORD had scattered her idolatrous ancestors several centuries before Christ (the fifth course of judgment, Leviticus 26:27-46).

The third course of chastisement was outlined in Leviticus 26:21-22: “[21] And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. [22] I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.As a punishment for their sinfulness, God promised to turn the wild animal kingdom loose on Israel, that these creatures attack and eat them and their livestock! This phase of judgment was instituted during the ministry of the Prophet Elisha.

Turn to 2 Kings 2:23-25, over 800 years before Christ: “[23] And he [the Prophet Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. [24] And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. [25] And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.” These “children”—as in teenagers—were ridiculing God’s prophet or spokesman. In other words, Israel has taught her younger generations to laugh at the LORD’S preacher. Consequently, the third course of judgment began, and two female bears slaughtered these kids to prove it!

As touching the fourth seal judgment of Daniel’s 70th Week, yet future from us, we see this third course of chastisement resuming. Revelation chapter 6: “[7] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. [8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” These creatures will take the lives of idolaters, those followers of the Antichrist. Consequently, Israel’s Little Flock (believing remnant) will be endued with supernatural power over the animal kingdom, that the fauna not hurt them. As the Lord promised His disciples in believing Israel, “They shall take up serpents” (Mark 16:18). For more information, see our snake-handling article linked below.

In the case of Hosea chapter 2, the curses of the Old Covenant are lifted and the blessings of the New Covenant are introduced. Reread the verse with which we opened: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” In Christ’s Millennial Reign, Israel will be at peace. No Gentile armies will be attacking her in the Promised Land, as with the first course of chastisement (Leviticus 26:14-17). Also, no Gentile nations will be deporting her from the Promised Land via war, as in the fifth course of judgment (Leviticus 26:27-39). Moreover, the animal kingdom will not assault her people anymore, as in the third course of chastisement (Leviticus 26:21-22).

The Prophet Ezekiel foretold of Israel’s restoration under the New Covenant in chapters 34 and 36. (Look at Ezekiel 36:25-27; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:8-13, and Hebrews 10:1-39.) Read from chapter 34, noting especially verses 25 and 28: “[23] And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. [24] And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. [25] And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. [26] And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. [27] And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. [28] And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. [29] And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. [30] Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. [31] And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.”

Israel’s enemies—both man and beast—are now at peace with them because the LORD is now at peace with them!

Also see:
» What about snake-handling?
» Who will be Israel’s King in the Millennium—Jesus Christ or David?
» Can you explain 2 Kings 2:23-25?