The Bible states that after the raven, which Noah sent out failed to return to the ark, Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground and the first time this dove flew, it found no rest for the sole of her foot, and so she retuned to the ark. Noah waited for a period of seven days and then sent that dove again for the second time. This time the dove returned with an olive leaf and so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. Noah waited another seven days and then sent the dove again, for the third time. This time the dove did not return to Noah anymore.
While this may seem cursorily to be merely an incident in the life of Noah, closer scrutiny of Genesis 8:8-12, reveals a possible analogy to the nature and working of the Holy Spirit of God, but before we delve into that, let us first recognize that the Holy Spirit was seen in the form of a dove, descending upon Jesus Christ at the time of Jesus’ baptism.
Now let us move on to recognize the nature and working of the Holy Spirit of God.
First, just as the dove did not find rest for the sole of her feet, when there was nothing but death in the watery grave outside the ark, so also the Holy Spirit of God, cannot find rest among the dead, who are found outside of Christ Jesus – The Ark.
Second, the dove flew and brought back an olive leaf. An olive branch is an universal symbol for peace and the phrase “to extend an olive branch” means to make an offer of peace or reconciliation. The Holy Spirit of God speaks to us (in the mouth of the dove was the olive leaf), bringing us the olive leaf, from the anointed olive trees that stand before the LORD (Zechariah 4:10-12), to make peace and to reconcile us back to God, forever.
Third, the dove flew once it had brought the olive leaf to Noah and his family, just as the Holy Spirit of God goes forth from those who believe, to the rest of the world.
Points to ponder:
The Dove (Holy Spirit) flies thrice. When he visits your life, would it be his first, his second or his third?
Genesis 8:8-12 (KJV)
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 pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.