God has done it again, pointing us to the gospel even though we’ve barely begun reading in the Old Testament. I was told as a child that in the Old Testament God laid down the law, and in the New Testament proclaimed the good news that He completed the law. But we see God’s plan of salvation in this Old Testament historical account. I will no longer try to stay focused on chronology as I read the Bible cover to cover. It’s much more exciting to explore these connections and skip back and forth between the old and the new.
In Genesis 8 Noah has opened the window of the ark. Note “the window” rather than “a window”. Noah sends out a dove, which returns with a leaf plucked from an olive tree.
Now, I could be totally off base here, but I think of the ark as a tomb. Dark, dank and surrounded by death. We cannot escape death. We can only surrender our self will, die to ourselves, in order to embrace life through Him.
God gives His life through that one window. One window reminds me that there is only one way of salvation. Interesting that God would design the ark with only one window and one door. There are many views and perspectives about religion and life after death, but those other windows and doors lead to nowhere.
Next, it is a dove that flies through that window. Right? Symbol of peace, and of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist; the Holy Spirit descended “like a dove”. We just sang these lines in church last Sunday:
“…Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings”
(From the last verse of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.)
Last, the olive leaf. Olive branches are also universally understood to symbolize peace and reconciliation. I would add healing. I live near an old olive grove. I can tell you that those trees are virtually indestructible. Their roots are strong. There was a fire two years ago that wiped out many trees in our area. I’m watching the olive trees slowly grow back from the blackened earth. They are drought tolerant, and suffer the fewest pest infestations of any fruit tree. They have a superior ability to “self-heal.” If a breach has happened to the protective outer bark; it quickly grows a barrier and avoids infection. This property is also evident in the oil that is squeezed from its fruit.
So I can’t help but draw conclusions from these little details that God noted in the scriptures:
The world cannot escape death. But God provides a window, a door, the way of salvation. He leads us with His Holy Spirit, to a life of peace and reconciliation. He knows it will be tough, and there will be drought years as well as flood years. But he provides the strength we will need in those times. He sends us the Comforter, carrying a leaf, from the tough old olive tree that can withstand the elements. He is telling us, practically shouting it, in this passage that He can provide for all of our needs and wants us to be healed completely. God has it all figured out.
Block 13, Dove in the Window.