ODJ: of winds and wings

March 23, 2015 

READ: Genesis 8:1-22 

I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon [Jesus] (John 1:32).

When he graced a room, the warmth of his presence was felt. The gentle breath of shalom was apparent. My uncle brought a calming effect that was palpable.

God brought calm to the earth after 40 days and 40 nights of rain had covered it. Months passed, and the evil and violence that once consumed the land had been silenced, and God “sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters [receded]” (Genesis 8:1).

After releasing a raven, Noah then sent a dove skyward. But water still covered the earth and the dove returned to him (vv.8-9). One week later, he released the dove again. This time it returned with “a fresh olive leaf” (vv.10-11). The promise of new life was manifest! After another week, Noah released the dove once more. It didn’t return, for it had found a safe place to land (v.12). God told Noah to leave the boat and to set the animals free that they might “be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth” (v.17).

When Jesus emerged from the waters of baptism, “he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:10). The Spirit, active with Jesus in the establishing of the first creation, was now settling on Jesus in a symbolic display of the new creation alighting on earth (Genesis 8:17).

Later, after Jesus had ascended to heaven, the believers in Jesus were together in one place in Jerusalem. Suddenly the sound of wind filled the house (Acts 2:1-2). As Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit arrived and settled on each believer. The calm and presence of God was manifest.

Today, the power and peace of the Holy Spirit has settled on us. And, by His power, we seek the fruit of multiplication of those finding new life in Jesus (Acts 1:8).

Tom Felten

365-day plan: 1 Samuel 9:1-21

Read John 3:6-8 and consider what it reveals about the wind-like work of the Holy Spirit. 
What interesting parallels do you see in the accounts of Noah and Jesus’ baptism? How have you experienced the calm and shalom that the Holy Spirit brings? How are you sharing the message of new life with others?