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Birds of the Bible – Leaving the Ark

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by IanIn 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 Nikhilthen 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.