Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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[9] No resting place

A Cambridge street crowded with people.
A Cambridge street crowded with people.

Do you feel that this world isn’t really you?

If this is the case then you may have a lot in common with the dove.
If not – then you may be like the raven!
Let me explain:

(This article based on Genesis 8:6-12 which is included at the foot of the page)

When Noah had been in the Ark a long time and the flood waters had been receding, he sent out a raven and then a bit later a dove to see what they found.
The word ‘raven’ that is used here is a loose term.
So let’s think of those black, big birds which you see grabbing at a flattened creature on the road.

Where would this raven, that Noah released, rest, and what would it eat?

It could rest on the floating debris, and it could feed off any floating bits of flesh.
They feed off any old scraps and carcasses.

There is no reason why it should return to the Ark, because it had all it needed.

Can you imagine the dove doing the same thing?

A dove sitting on a branch.
A dove sitting on a branch.

No, it would be totally out of the dove’s nature to do such a thing!
A dove in the Bible speaks of the working of God’s Holy Spirit, or the godly life of a believer – a life washed by the Holy Spirit.

So by saying; the dove wouldn’t rest on any filthy debris, it would fly back to the Ark and wait for the new world to appear.
We can relate that to Christians.
As believers, we will not find a true resting place in the world.
By that I mean, that the world cannot satisfy the yearnings of a believer.

The Christian cannot find fulfilment FROM the world.
We can have fulfilment IN the world, by having our focus, and our affections upon God.
But not from the world.
The world is not a source of life, God is.

The non-believer is like the raven.

A raven.
A raven.

Why should they look towards another world, when they have got everything they need here and now.
The world, with all it’s attractions, and pleasures, can dominate the mind that is not devoted to the Lord.

So the question to ask ourselves is:
Are we besotted, and infatuated, with the things of this world?
No? Perhaps a little?

We should make the Lord our delight.
Whenever we have a spare bit of time, our mind ought to return to the things of God.
Do we feel that heaven is our true home, rather than the earth?
It is recorded in Hebrews that men like Noah and Abraham:

..admitted that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
People who say such things, show that they are looking for a country of their own ..
they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Hebrews 11:13-16

Let’s return to what these two birds fed on. The raven fed off the floating scraps of flesh.
By saying; the dove wouldn’t eat rotting flesh, we can relate that to Christians.
The scraps of flesh represent the world’s wisdom.
We must not feed on the world’s wisdom, and use it as our guide, and our authority.
It is below God’s wisdom as displayed in the Bible.
We need to feed on God’s Word. It is Heavenly wisdom.
It is the Lord God Almighty’s wisdom.
With that wisdom we can view the world correctly.
Upon that wisdom we stand.

After 40 days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark, and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
But the dove could find no place for it’s feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark.
He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.”
Genesis 8:6-12

Images: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London

Peter Reason

January 2012

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