“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
This scene seems impossible. Could it be merely an allegory? But that isn’t all. “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:25).
Whether this will all come to pass literally (and there is nothing in the context to cause us to question it), it definitely describes what God considers the ideal state of nature. In fact, in the original creation, all animals were herbivorous. “And God said, Behold,…to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so” (Genesis 1:29-30).
With humanity’s fall into sin and God’s resulting curse on the earth, this ideal state deteriorated. Teeth and claws, originally designed for digging roots and branches, began to be used for tearing and eating flesh. Even people were authorized by God to eat meat after the Flood (Genesis 9:3). It’s still true, however, that both people and animals can survive on a non-carnivorous diet when necessary, for this was designed initially as the best way. All of this leads to the certain conclusion that God did not allow any such reign of tooth and claw on the earth before humans sinned. Those who promote the idea of long geological ages, with billions of animals suffering and dying during those ages, charge our God of wisdom and mercy with gratuitous cruelty. In a world made by a loving God, there could have been no death in the world until humans brought sin into the world (Romans 5:12). HMM
From Days of Praise