Tommy Bates Ministries

The Raven and the Dove

Read Genesis 8:6-12

This text contains so much rich, and often overlooked detail. First, understand that the ark was a symbol of salvation. After the fall and before the flood, people were so wickedly sinful, believing they did not have to answer to God, much like society now. The world says there’s no way to know which religion is right, or if God exists. Noah warned the people about the flood that was coming like the prophets told of the coming Savior. The flood initiated consequence for sin like Jesus initiated redemption.

God chose Noah to warn the people. But no one believed him, and they went on enjoying their sin. When the doors of the ark closed and the rain began to fall, terror of reality took over and people knew they had missed their opportunity to be saved. Just as God has chosen you and me to carry the gospel to the entire world, the door of time is quickly coming to a close.

When the rain stopped, notice that Noah sent out both a raven and a dove. The dove immediately came back, but the raven did not. Ravens are symbolic of darkness, as illustrated in the Bible. They’re scavengers. When attacking their prey, they go for the eyes first, blinding their opponent. This is how the darkness works in our lives. That day, the raven flew throughout the land, and today darkness is trying to choke out the light.

Noah sent out the dove again, and it returned with an olive branch, symbolic of life, peace and strength. Even though that raven was out there looking for its next victim, the dove plucked that olive branch and brought it back to the ark. Just as in the times of the Biblical prophets, the Holy Spirit was still working. He was bringing the message of the Savior to the prophets. Meanwhile, the darkness was still lurking and deceiving.

After another week, Noah sent the dove out again, and this time it didn’t come back. It was able to dwell in the world without hindrance. The well known moment of Jesus’ baptism, when the Holy Spirit came down as a dove, landing on the Savior, began a new time in history. Within a few years, Jesus was crucified, and raised to life. Then on that day of Pentecost, when he ascended into the heavens, the Holy Spirit came down to dwell within believers. The light has been taking over the darkness ever since.

Darkness cannot dwell with light. The raven is no match for the dove. The Holy Spirit is dwelling within us for such a time as this. It’s the light of Jesus, shining through us, that will help the perishing. The younger generations can’t see, they’ve been blinded. They need the light of Jesus, and time is running out. Don’t run away from the darkness, run toward it, and take the light to the blind.

We love y’all. We’re praying for you, and remember…we’re always saving you a seat at Community Family Church.

Pastor Tom

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