Enjoying a Carcass or the Leaf?
“Noah dear, I’ve searched the ship high and low and I can’t find Sammy anywhere. I missed him cawing this morning.”
“It’s my fault,” Noah told his wife. “I thought I’d let Sammy out to see how things were going since the storm stopped. I wanted to see if the water levels were down enough for us to leave the ark. But the thing never returned.”
“Noah, you should have known better. The moment he found a floating dead carcass, I’m sure he’d just land on it, rip into it and have a feast. After all, Sammy’s a scavenger at heart. Just a raven.”
“Here’s the good news honey,” says Noah. “I let the dove out last week and after a little while it came back. I sent it out again this morning and guess what? It had a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Honey, the tree tops must be showing. Soon we’ll be able to leave the ship.”
Excuse the imagination. The actual Biblical account goes like this:
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 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. 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.
Are you connecting with this story? When you want a good old feast to please your inner yearnings, what do you do? What do you land on? Some old dead carcass that’s rotten and stinking? Can you get some satisfaction out of that? Are you a Sammy?
Sammy the crow would have no interest in an olive leaf. A maggot-infested carcass of a porcupine would be a more sumptuous meal than a green leaf. His appetite was very much a part of his nature and it was reflected in the choices Sammy made.
At least two applications from this story can be made. Think of it as the difference between the Flesh and the Spirit in the life of a believer. The moment we trust Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up His permanent residence in us – never to leave, regardless of what happens. He gives you a new appetite you never had before. You now crave to learn more about Jesus. You now really want to please Him. The Bible becomes your favorite book. These are the new desires of a Spirit-filled life of a believer. The new life appeals to you and you clench it in your beak – like that new olive leaf after the judgment of the flood.
As a Christian, you find yourself normally repulsed by sin but now there are those internal struggles that plague you. An hour after you have enjoyed amazing thoughts about Christ, you suddenly have a wickedly vile thought. Quickly things deteriorate and before you know it, you have sinned. Your feet have landed on a rotten carcass. You have sunk your claws into it and tightly gripped by your beak is a hefty chunk of decaying meat. Sammy the crow. If and when this happens read 1John 1:8 to 2:2 and confess your sin.
For more on the struggle between the Flesh and the Spirit in a believer, read Galatians 5.
But here’s a second consideration: it’s possible to keep a Sammy in a cage (like the ark) and in that environment, one might think he had been changed. But as soon as the opportunity presents itself, he takes flight and returns to what he loves most and best – the decaying meat of this world. Never transformed or changed to begin with. That is a real possibility as well.
Have you truly experienced the change that Christ makes in one’s life?
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