The other night I read a chapter in a book called Tozer: Mystery of the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer. This book is a collection of his sermons preached over 60 years ago. I think they are very relevant for today and particularly food for thought for this Easter season. The chapter I read and would like to share thoughts from is entitled, “The Dove of Noah’s Ark”. In it he contrast the hearts of the two different birds that Noah sent out of the ark at different times to illustrate to the church he was apparently preaching the sermon to why they were not filled with the Holy Spirit.🕊

Tozer writes that God in His kindness had to judge mankind because of their total depravity. So he sent a flood on the earth in Noah’s day to destroy, sparing only a few so that all the human race would not perish. In describing the scene of this judgement, Tozer paints a picture of the ‘devastation’ of this judgement that the raven that Noah sent out when the ark finally came to rest on Ararat, encountered. This desolation was not something I had really thought on before, a vast sea filled with floating, rotting corpses of all kinds of creatures. The raven, Tozer says, had a ‘dark heart’ and “felt at home there for he was a flesh eater”. What should or would have repulsed others did not have the same effect on the raven. The raven was very happy to go out into this sea of horror, loving it as he feasted on the dead flesh because that was who he was. Tozer writes, “Something in his dark heart loved it because he lived on it.” That raven never even wanted to come back to the ark. As I read on in the chapter, I saw that Tozer compared this illustration of the raven with man’s love of and comfortableness with sin. God has sent His judgement on humanity but man isn’t affected by it …man is right at home in this world just like the raven, loving it. He warns that “unless we repent, we shall all perish and all the nations of the world shall be turned into hell.”

Then Tozer contrasts the illustration of the raven with the dove that Noah sent out, a type of the Holy Spirit. This pure dove hated what she saw and did not even want to look at the filth, so she came back to Noah and the ark. She did not want to put her feet on anything dirty. What a vivid contrast of two types of birds, two types of loves and two types of hearts. Much to think on. 💜

As I understood it, Tozer sums it by referring to the Holy Spirit and indicating how He wants to come down into men’s hearts and lives but because of “plain sins which nobody can deny…” (and that God hates)…”the dove will not come down”.🕊

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