by Frans Bakker
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. —Genesis 8:11
God gave a sign to Noah by means of a seemingly insignificant thing: a simple olive leaf in the beak of a dove. God often speaks through little things. If only we would hear and notice the voice of God in the things around us!
A father once took his child for a walk along the road. The child found a golden jewel and picked it up from off the ground. The father had not even seen it; he overlooked its presence. A child sometimes notices things that an adult does not even see. Therefore, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). Oh, how lofty people can be in their own opinion, even after they have experienced grace! They would prefer to receive a message of God delivered by angels instead of by a dove. They would rather receive a great thing than an olive leaf. Could this also be the cause of spiritual darkness, that we look too high? The psalmist understood meekness when he said, “Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me” (Ps. 131:1). To be able to take note of little things, we have to become little ourselves. We have to become as little children.
Imagine if Noah had not looked for that dove. Imagine if he had not been standing at that window, but had been sitting idly in the ark, waiting for a special revelation of God and anticipating great things. Then the dove, after it landed at that window, would have dropped the leaf, and God’s message would have blown away across the water.
How tender are God’s dealings! It is not without cause that we read in Scripture, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22). It is better to listen and take notice of God’s Word than to bring sacrifices without listening. We are to listen and pay attention to God’s messages.
Are so-called little things only given to little ones in grace? Not at all; the more grace one experiences, the greater God becomes in the smallest matters. To have much grace leads one to be close to the ground, just like that child. That is where heavenly jewels are found.
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.