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Peace With God

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by Kristen C. Strocchia

“He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.” Genesis 8:10-12

Image result for olive leafAfter 265 days of life aboard the ark, what’s another 14 days [2 weeks]? On Day 272, the dove came back with a fresh olive leaf! Not bedraggled and waterlogged from flood debris, but freshly picked from a growing tree.

Clearly, God was at work once again. Just as He had prepared the Creation before placing Adam into a perfect garden home, so He ensured that Noah and his family would be able to survive the post-flood earth.

However, if–during the flood–mountains were covered to a depth of 23 feet, then trees were covered to depths of possibly hundreds of feet. The types of waves and riptides produced by a worldwide deluge would be enough to rip most of the trees out of the saturated earth and toss them around like pick-up-sticks. According to the Biblical account, every living thing died in the flood save those on the ark. So forests, fields, jungles, and all the creatures therein–birds, mammals, humans, and reptiles…including dinosaurs–died in the flood.

Do you know that there is evidence of this death toll everywhere? Trees have been found coalified and petrified and coalified [again…as in the same tree crossing through three different geologic layers] standing straight up, though not rooted. Human artifacts have been discovered inside coal. And fossil fuels are termed such because scientists know that they are the pressurized decomposed remains of once living organisms. Only there had to be a whole lot of organisms deceased and squished all at once under an inordinate amount of pressure to form the coal, natural gas, and oil seams that we have today. [Or the organisms had to be a whole lot larger…maybe like dinosaur size?]

So an olive leaf was a great sign! Trees do not grow up over night–at least not without divine intervention. Olive leaves/branches are a symbol of peace, as are doves and doves carrying olive branches. All symbolism has an origin, and we today use these as symbols of peace, because of this moment in history right here when God made peace with man. The man named peace, whose father had prophesied would bring peace to all the earth, received the sign of peace from God.

The earth was almost inhabitable again, but Noah waited one more week to be sure. With worldwide mud, I’m sure he did not want to get stuck, maybe lose a sandal that couldn’t easily be replaced. He also, as Adam in the garden before him, was caretaker for the animals the Lord had sent him. So besides his own well being, Noah remained on the ark until he felt sure that the world was ready to receive back life in the midst of all the death.

And when the dove–that clean bird–did not return, then Noah knew for sure that the life had returned upon the earth.

Sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death [James 1:15]. The world we live in is full of sin growing to its fullest. Our own lives not withstanding. Death abounds. Judgment leading to second death is coming. But where there is death, there are also those ready to receive new life. And just like in Eden and the post-flood world, God is at work, but this time, preparing hearts.

Look at your life through God’s Word and ask yourself, if you had been alive during the days of Noah, would God have chosen you? In the post-flood aftermath we live in 4,000 years later, are you prepared to plant life in the hearts and minds of those God sends your way?

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