Reflecting on Floodwaters (and a Dove): How Do We “Return”?

Returning Earthly Lives to Normalcy, After the Flood:

Yet Whereunto (and How) Do We Return our Souls?

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Ark-with-returning-Dove.olive-HoshanaRabbah

ARK ON WAVES, with returning dove   (credit: public domain / Hoshanah Rabbah)

But the dove [Hebrew: yônah] found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned [a form of the verb shûb] unto him [i.e., Noah] into the Ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth; then he [i.e., Noah] put forth his hand, and took her [i.e., the female dove], and pulled her unto himself, unto the Ark.  And he waited yet other 7 days; and again he [i.e., Noah] sent forth the dove from the Ark; and the dove came back [a form of the verb shûb] unto him at evening; and, lo! — an olive leaf, plucked off, was in her [i.e., the female dove’s] mouth!  — so that Noah knew the waters were abated from upon the earth.  And he waited yet other 7 days; and sent forth the dove, who returned [a form of the verb shûb] not again unto him anymore.  (Genesis 8:9-12)

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, in recent weeks, both visited the southeastern United States (as well as some Caribbean islands nearby) with powerful devastation. Thereafter those hurricanes left flooding and turmoil in their wakes.  The need for restoration and a return to normalcy will continue.

Yet imagine how much more devastation faced the human race when only 8 humans were alive, who themselves, for more than a year, had just survived the only worldwide Flood that ever was – or ever will be. What an aftermath!  And what a need for ecological restoration, to say the least!

In fact, that is part of what we read about within the 8th chapter of Genesis.

White-Dove-flying.background-clouds

DOVE (credit: Fanpop Wallpaper)

Furthermore, what an amazing report of scientific research is reported in Genesis chapter 8 – Noah used a dove to take, in effect, an ecological snapshot of the Flood’s aftermath, so that Noah could observe – with the help of a dove (who served his need for information, like a passenger pigeon) – when Earth was drained sufficiently to permit recovered/sprouted olive trees to produce some pluckable leaves, an early sign that Earth was regaining a vegetated condition.

Noah-dove-raven-Ark

DOVE RETURNS TO NOAH   (image credit: Pinterest)

Thus Noah, as the greatest empirical scientist then alive (not to mention the greatest zookeeper to ever live!), concluded that the Flood’s wake was subsided sufficiently to permit the first stages of ecological recovery. Meanwhile, Noah (and his family, as well as the other Ark-borne animals) remained aboard the Ark, until God Himself instructed Noah that it was safe for their disembarkation (Genesis 8:15-19).

White-Dove.Journal-of-Consumer-Research

WHITE DOVE   (photo

credit; Journal of Consumer Research)

Much more has been said, and should be said, about Noah’s disembarkation after the Flood. (For example, consider the entire book by Britain’s premier historian, Dr. Bill Cooper, titled AFTER THE FLOOD.)

But for now, however, consider just one Hebrew word, the simple verb shûb. It basically means to “return”, to “come back”.  In Genesis 8:9-12 the dove twice returned, after which she did not return on the third occasion.  What a simple action verb, yet how mighty its meaning in Scripture!  Two other usages of this action verb will be noted, below, to illustrate the importance of this simple verb, the root form of which is only 3 letters in Hebrew (shûb).

In Psalm 23:3 we read that the LORD “restores my soul”  —  literally, God “returns” my soul, because of His shepherdly care for me.  Because God created me, as a unique human (Psalm 102:18), my being began with and by His divine command, so He is the author of my creaturely existence.

However, as a sinner, I have strayed from God my Creator (Isaiah 53:6a), so I cannot belong to Him, so how can I be successfully returned unto Him?  Lamentably, as a sinner, I cannot accomplish a satisfactory solution to my personal predicament – my problem of sin-caused alienation (Isaiah 59:2 & 64:6; Romans 3:23).

Wonderfully, however, without compromising His holiness and justice, God has provided a redemptive solution to my sin problem, the gift of substitutionary atonement (John 3:14-16). Christ has voluntarily and magnanimously accepted the punishment due for my sin (and for all of Adam’s race), to justify the gifted exchange of Christ’s own perfect righteousness (Romans 6:23), generously producing the marvelous result that I can be justified and forgiven (because His blood on the cross paid my sin-debt), so long as I happily accept that redemptive gift by believing that God has chosen to give me that redemption (Ephesians 1:3-14; John 14:6)!

What a privilege to be one of the “sheep” of God’s flock (see Psalm 100).  In John chapter 10, we read that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-14), Who knows and cares for His sheep, and Who gives unto us, His “sheep”, everlasting life, as a gracious and redemptive gift of His love (John 10:16-18 & 10:26-28).

In other words, like an errant sheep (Isaiah 53:6), I have (as has every human sinner) wandered away from God, yet God has redemptively sought and retrieved me (Luke 15:4-7) as if I was a sheep separated from 99 other sheep, and Christ deemed me valuable enough to find and to fetch, and to safely secure me within His flock!

Jesus-Shepherd-with-sheep.watercolor

JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD  (image credit: Pinterest)

But notice that the gift of redemption in Christ is not automatically applied to the eternal destinies of every human being – there is a choice to be made, a choice with moral (and everlasting) accountability – the choice must be willingly made, to accept (rather than to decline accepting) Christ as one’s personal Redeemer. No one is forcefully drafted into Heaven against his or her will – there are no “robots” in Heaven!

It is “whosoever will” who enters Heaven by God’s grace in Christ, so no truth-opposing (and thus Christ-rejecting) unbelievers enter the ultimate Haven of rest. And that requirement of believing acceptance of God’s grace, a/k/a saving faith, is the choice that is needed, in order to benefit eternally form Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection (John 1:12 & 3:14-18).

This crucial need to consciously and voluntarily accept, by belief (what is sometimes called a “love of the truth”), God’s promised gift of salvation in Christ, is consistently taught throughout the Holy Bible. Just as the serpent-bitten Israelites needed to believe God’s promise about the only sufficient remedy for deadly snakebites, we must believe God’s promise that looking to the once-for-all crucified Christ is the only sufficient remedy for our own sin problem (John 3:14-16, in light of Numbers 21:7-9).

John3.14-15-picture

JOHN 3:14-15 with NUMBERS 21:4-9   (image credit: Godisrevealed.com blog)

That requires us, as individuals, to personally believe the truth of God’s promise of saving grace in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:22-26 & 4:20-25 & 10:13).

Notice that this kind of belief is not the same thing as promising to serve God (or “to follow Jesus”), because real saving belief involves expecting God to give us something, freely and graciously, apart from anything we do (or promise to do) for God.

Oddly, this is hard for many to accept —  the idea that eternal life in Christ really is free is rejected by many, despite the Bible’s clear teaching that salvation in Christ is a GIFT (Romans 6:23).   No one merited the right to be conceived in the womb, or to be born.  Yet it is undeniable that our creaturely lives are gifts we did not earn (or work for) — obviously God made us, or else we would not exist!  So, since our very lives are unmerited gifts from God, to us, why should we have difficulty with the idea that God gives us forgiveness and salvation in Christ, as an unmerited gift that we neither earn nor work for?

Thus, it is simply believing God’s Word (like a trusting toddler would believe a loving parent), —  specifically, believing the promises in God’s Word regarding the Lord Jesus Christ as the unique Messianic Savior (1st Corinthians 15:3-4),  — that constitutes saving faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12 & 3:14-16).  It is that all-important belief that God uses to return our souls unto Himself, the psalmist (David) says in the 19th Psalm:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting [a form of the Hebrew verb shûbּ  —  literally “returning”] the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

And it is God Himself Who is our ultimate and only “haven of rest”, our souls’ true “home”.  (See “Why We Want to Go Home”, posted at http://www.icr.org/article/why-we-want-go-home .)    In other words, although some would say that “home (on Earth) is where you hang your hat”, our eternal home is where we belong forever – with God Himself (and with His forever family), thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20-21)!


The Dove – Weather Reporter… ~ Nuggets Plus

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

The Dove – Weather Reporter…
by A J Mithra
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Nuggets Plus

Nuggets Plus

Dove sent by Noah

came at dusk with an olive leaf

and Noah knew that

the flood had receded!

God sent the dove, His Holy spirit

at dusk to the upper room

to encourage us or to help us

warn about the flood of the last days?

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  Mathew 24:37


Carolina rainbow

Carolina rainbow

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, A J, your timing is perfect as usual. We just got back from a week and a half trip to Indiana. Praise the Lord for his traveling mercies and for all of you who were praying for us as we traveled 2,300 miles. Also, we had great weather. Only one rain storm for about 10 minutes which produced a beautiful rainbow in South Carolina. More about the trip that later.

The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. (Genesis 9:16 NKJV)

More Nuggets Plus

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Birds of the Bible – Gleaning’s Noah and the Birds

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Quy Tran

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. (Gen 6:19 NKJV)

After computer problems last week, we are back up and running. I reloaded my e-Sword on to a new SSD drive and decided to see how fast the searches would be. Zip! Searching for the word “bird” in the Reference Library, I came across these interesting thoughts from “Gleanings In Genesis” by Arthur W. Pink

Noah, as a Type of Christ, is being discussed in this section and the reference to caring for the birds and animals of course caught my “birdwatching eye.”

From Gleanings in Genesis, Chapter 12, Noah A Type of Christ (excerpt):

“9. The successful issue of Noah’s work, seen in “the saving of his house” (Hebrews_11:7) reminds us of the language of Hebrews_3:6, “But Christ as a son over his own house” (Hebrews_3:6). But the type goes further: Noah’s work brings blessing to all creation as is seen from the fact that the animals and birds were also preserved in the ark. Observe how beautifully this is brought out in Genesis_8:1 —”And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark.” So, too, the work of Christ shall yet bring blessing to the beasts of the field. At His return to the earth “the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans_8:21).

Spotted Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus dryas) ©WikiC

Spotted Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus dryas) ©WikiC

10. In Genesis_6:19 we have a hint of the animal creation being subject to Noah “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee.” We have a passing glimpse of the yet future fulfillment of this part of the type in Mark_1:13 —”And He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts.” Noah’s headship over all creatures comes out even more clearly in Genesis_9:2 —”And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” How this reminds us of Psalm 8, which speaks of the future dominion of the Son of Man. “For Thou hast made Him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned Him with glory and honor. For thou madest Him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under His feet (compare Hebrews_2:8), “But now we see not yet all things put under Him, all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea!” This same thought is repeated in the Genesis narrative again and again as if with deliberate emphasis. When we read of the animals entering the Ark we are told “They went in unto Noah (not unto Noah and his family) into the Ark,” and then we are told “And the Lord shut him (not ‘them’) in” (Genesis_7:15-16). And again, on leaving the ark we read that God said unto Noah, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things” (Genesis_9:3). So Christ is “the Heir of all things” (Hebrews_1:2).

Interesting House Finch at feeder

Interesting House Finch at feeder

11. In Gen_6:21 we find Noah presented as the great food-provider: “And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.” We need hardly say that this finds its complement in Christ the Bread of Life. He is God’s Manna for our souls. He is the Shewbread which was eaten by Aaron and his sons (Leviticus_24:9). He is the Old Corn of the land (Joshua_5:11). In short, it is only as we feed upon Christ as He is presented unto us in the written Word that our spiritual life is quickened and nourished.

He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number. (Job 9:10 NKJV)

We have a wonderful Creator, Sustainer and Saviour in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the use of “Types,” like Noah, and illustrations with birds and other objects, it helps us better understand many things that are beyond our grasp or understanding at times.

(Spelling of Books and bolding are mine.)

See:

Birds of the Bible

Gospel Presentation

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Birds of the Bible – Loading the Ark

Snowy Egret - Wind Blown at Ft DeSoto 11-22-12 Thanksgiving

Snowy Egret – Wind Blown at Ft DeSoto 11-22-12 Thanksgiving

Dan and I just got back from a trip to Tampa for just 2 nights for the Thanksgiving holiday. My brother had a knee replacement on Wednesday (he’s doing fine), so we tied visiting him and doing some birdwatching in that area. Do you know how much we carried with us for just three days? Of course we carried our binoculars, cameras, tripod, laptop, plus clothes. Plus…

I also am starting my reading cycle through the Bible again and just read about Noah and the Ark. Because the earth had become so corrupt and violent, God said He was going to  destroy man, beast, creeping things and birds.

So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:7-9 NKJV)

And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Genesis 6:13 NKJV)

Willit - Laughing Gull - Forster's Tern at Ft DeSoto 11-22-12 Thanksgiving

Willit – Laughing Gull – Forster’s Tern at Ft DeSoto 11-22-12 Thanksgiving

Most of us know this history in the Word. Through Genesis 6, the Ark is built and Noah keeps trying to tell others to repent, but eventually the time comes and it is time to “Load the Ark.”

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:19-22 NKJV)

Noah didn’t need to worry about taking cameras and laptops, but they had a whole lot more to get loaded on the Ark. We have all taken trips and know how long it takes to get everything in the car or van. Can you imagine when the LORD finally said that it was time to “start loading.” Noah and his family had been preparing and gathering the food, water, and supplies. If I read the first few verses of Genesis 7 correctly, they had a week (seven days) to put that in and the animals and birds. Those came to Noah, but they still had to arrange them into the different places on board the Ark. Whew! Some of us have enough trouble just loading the trunk.

Shorebirds at MacDill AFB shore 11-23-12

Many believe the Critters rested most of the time while on board.

I am thankful that Noah and his family lived righteously and that they found grace. If not, I wouldn’t be writing this blog, nor would I be enjoying all the things the Lord created, especially the birds I love to write about.

Praise the Lord!

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Other Birds of the Bible articles about this:

The Lord Provides For Them

Seven By Seven

God’s Commands and Promises To Them – Part I

Leaving the Ark

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Birds of the Bible – Seven By Seven

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) pair by Ray

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) pair by Ray

When the birds and animals came to Noah and the Ark, the “clean critters” came “seven by seven.” Noah was told in Genesis 7:1-3:

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:1-3 KJV)

Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) pair by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) pair by Nikhil Devasar

Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:2-3 ESV)

Pair of Sandhill Cranes by Mike Bader

Pair of Sandhill Cranes by Mike Bader

And from the winged creatures of the heaven, of the clean, seven by seven, male and female; and from all the winged creatures of the ones not clean, two by two, male and female, to maintain seed upon all the earth. (Genesis 7:3 APG)

These verses are interesting to look at because they give two different ideas about what the LORD said to Noah. The APG (Apostolic Bible Polyglot), from which I took the “seven by seven” for the title, indicates that the birds came in as seven pairs of “clean birds” and one pair of “unclean birds.” Most of the other translations seem to indicate that all the birds came in with seven pairs.

Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) by Ian

Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) by Ian

The King James and the English Standard Versions quoted above do not specify “clean or unclean”, only that there are to be seven pairs, the male and his female. I am inclined to lean toward this understanding of these verses. Birds are more fragile than the beast or land animals and that could be why the LORD would have protected them more. Also, reading the commentary by Matthew Henry about why there were more “clean than unclean”, I almost had to chuckle.

“3. Yet more of the clean were preserved than of the unclean. (1.) Because the clean were most for the service of man; and therefore, in favour to him, more of them were preserved and are still propagated. Thanks be to God, there are not herds of lions as there are of oxen, nor flocks of tigers as there are of sheep. (2.) Because the clean were for sacrifice to God; and therefore, in honour to him, more of them were preserved, three couple for breed, and the odd seventh (pair) for sacrifice, Gen_8:20. God gives us six for one in earthly things, as in the distribution of the days of the week, that in spiritual things we should be all for him. What is devoted to God’s honour, and used in his service, is particularly blessed and increased.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Gen 7:2)

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) by Ian-2

Strutting Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) by Ian

Digging into my e-Sword Bible Program to see about this difference, here are how the different versions describe Gen 7:3 –

Those indicating all birds and seven pairs of them:
(ASV) of the birds also of the heavens, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(BBE) And of the birds of the air, seven males and seven females, so that their seed may still be living on the face of the earth.
(CEV) Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird with you. Do this so there will always be animals and birds on the earth.
(Darby) Also of the fowl of the heavens by sevens, male and female; to keep seed alive on the face of all the earth.
(DRB) But of the beasts that are unclean two and two, the male and the female. Of the fowls also of the air seven and seven, the male and the female: that seed may be saved upon the face of the whole earth.
(ERV) Get seven pairs (seven males and seven females) of all the birds. This will allow all these animals to continue living on the earth after the other animals are destroyed.
(ESV) and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.
(GNB) Take also seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth.
(GW) Also, take seven pairs of every kind of bird (a male and a female of each) to preserve animal life all over the earth after the flood.
(JPS) of the fowl also of the air, seven and seven, male and female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(KJV) Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(KJV-1611) Of fowles also of the aire, by seuens, the male & the female; to keepe seed aliue vpon the face of all the earth.
(LITV) And take of the fowl of the heavens by sevens, male and female, to keep alive seed on the face of the earth.
(MKJV) Also take of the fowls of the air by sevens, the male and the female, to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(NAS77) also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.
(NASB) also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.
(NKJV) also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.
(RV) of the fowl also of the air, seven and seven, male and female: to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
(Webster) Of fowls of the air also by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive on the face of all the earth.
(YLT) also, of fowl of the heavens seven pairs, a male and a female, to keep alive seed on the face of all the earth;

Red-whiskered Bulbul Proud Parents by TAJA

Red-whiskered Bulbul Proud Parents by TAJA

Those indicating “clean and unclean”
(APG) And from the winged creatures of the heaven, of the clean, seven by seven, male and female; and from all the winged creatures of the ones not clean, two by two, male and female, to maintain seed upon all the earth.
(Brenton) And of clean flying creatures of the sky sevens, male and female, and of all unclean flying creatures pairs, male and female, to maintain seed on all the earth.

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) by W Kwong

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) by W Kwong

All of the translations agree on two things for sure. They all agree that they came by male and female pairs. Not male and male pairs or female and female pairs. They also all agree that they were being preserved to keep the species and their future offspring alive. When they left the ark, they were told:

Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. (Genesis 8:15-19 NKJV)

See also: Birds of the Bible – Foundation #3
More Birds of the Bible Articles

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Birds of the Bible – Leaving the Ark

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

In my reading this week, I read something that I had overlooked before. We know that the animals, birds and all critters came to Noah two by two to be placed in the safety of the Ark.

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. (Genesis 6:19-20 KJV)

We have written about that before in Birds of the Bible – Foundation #3 when the critters went in and Foundation #4 when they came off. What I discovered is that the attitudes or instincts of them changed when they came off.

Noah let the Raven out and it didn’t come back, but the dove did because it didn’t find a resting place for it’s feet.

But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. (Genesis 8:9 ESV)

Then 7 days later Noah let the dove out again and this time returned with an olive leaf.

He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. (Genesis 8:10-11 ESV)

Some commentators had this to say:

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

then he put forth his hand and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark: she hovered about it, and got near the window, which Noah opened and took her in; which may represent the gracious reception sensible souls meet with from Christ, who apply to him; he kindly embraces them, and they find room in his heart and affections, fullness of everything they want, and security from all danger.” (Gill)

“And as Noah put forth his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her in to him, into the ark, so Christ will graciously preserve, and help, and welcome, those that fly to him for rest.” (Matthew Henry)

What I noticed and believe is that the Dove did not fear Noah and allowed itself to be brought back in twice. The dove returned needing shelter, but also not wary of the humans on board. This lack of fear demonstrated by the dove may help explain why the animals, birds and other critters had no problem coming to Noah to be loaded on board the Ark in the first place. Of course, God brought them there, as we know, but the lack of fear may have made it easier for them to get them in.

Now, watch what happens in Genesis 9:1-3:

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Genesis 9:1-3 ESV)

Right there that lack of fear ended.

Today, those of us who love to go bird or critter watching know about that fear they have of us. Because of that fear, they are able to steer clear of being trapped, caged, or eaten. Do we fear satan enough that we steer clear of his traps, cages, and falling prey to him?

To me it is amazing that no matter how many times we read over a passage of Scripture, the Lord allows us see new things to help us grow and appreciate our Creator and Savior even more. Never tire of re-reading a passage of God’s Word. His Word is alive just as He is.