The Raven and Dove

Genesis 8:6-11 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

The raven represents the law; the dove represents grace. Both went out at the same time but the dove returned because it could find no resting place. Until the law goes forth and does its work in convicting the sinner, the dove – God’s grace – will find no resting place. We must first break up the fallow ground using the law so that when we sow the seed of God’s grace, it will fall on good soil.

Seven days later, the dove was sent out again and brought back an olive leaf. Olive leaves and olive branches represent peace. The raven – the law – must first go out and when it is complete, the dove – God’s grace – can go out and bring back peace with God.

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