and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.
He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
Wednesday: Noah's Ark
Bible Reading: Genesis 6:11-22; 8:6-12
Jesse Tree Symbol: Dove over water (go to Jesse Tree ornaments)
The story of Noah, the ark, the animals, the flood and the rainbow is one that most children are familiar with. There are many different aspects of this story that can be taught to draw comparisons to the person of Jesus Christ. I would like to highlight just one.
God was greatly disappointed with the entire human race, save one man...Noah. God knew what He planned to do, destroy all living creatures, yet He prepared a way of escape...a door.
"Put a door in the side of the ark" Genesis 6:16 and that was the door that Noah, his family and all the animals passed through. There was no other way in, only one door.
"And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood...And after seven days the floodwaters came on the earth...Then the Lord shut him in." Genesis 7:7, 10, 16. It seems that the door to the ark stayed open for seven days before the Lord shut it. Seven days when those around Noah could have listened to his warnings and entered the ark. But they didn't and they died.
Today a door stands open as well. But this time, that door has been standing open for more that 2,000 years. That door is Jesus Christ.
"I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved," John 10:9. God knew that there would be a second judgment of the earth, but this time by fire. And just as God had Noah build an ark as a means of salvation from the flood, God prepared Himself, in Jesus Christ, as a means of salvation for all mankind.
The Bible makes it clear that we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Nothing we can do can save us from our sin and its consequence of eternal separation from God. But the Bible also tells us that "If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved" (Romans 10:9). It is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Nothing we can do will save us from our sin—salvation is all of God. Nothing Noah did could save him from the flood unless he followed God's instructions to build the ark and then walked through that door. Just like Noah, our responsibility is to go through the doorway (Jesus), and God will save us.
You can follow the Jesse Tree lesson with a Christmas carol or two.
When you are finished each day, you might want to talk about how Christmas is about giving much more than getting. One way that your family can give is through their daily prayers. This is a good time to pray for a specific country or for a group of people who do not know about Jesus. Two great websites to help you do this are:
Operation World go to Featured Nation and click on Country Profile
May this Christmas season be a time when each of us draw nearer to Christ and help our children do the same. God bless you!