Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
The righteous has regard for his beast because he is just, compassionate, and wise. It is a matter of justice to protect and preserve life. God is Creator of the animals, and we must have just cause to harm his creatures, especially those whom he has given to serve us. Righteousness includes compassion, as exemplified by the mercy our Righteous God has shown us. And then, it is wise to care for the beast who serves his master, thereby extending and promoting his usefulness.
Besides encouraging good care for animals, the point of the proverb is that righteousness leads us to care for everyone regardless of their status in life. The righteous have regard for the unborn, the handicapped, the terminally ill, the aged, the poor. Our regard for those who are considered the weak in society signifies our maturity in Christ.
Is there someone at work, in the neighborhood, in school who is shown little regard? By you? Take time to give him/her attention. Show regard for the life which God has made.
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