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September-October 2019 - Noah

September 1, 2019 by Kathryn Kimball
Artist: Frank Wesley (India)

Frank Wesley, a fifth-generation Christian, studied art in Japan and India.  His depiction of the ark on the cover reflects the Asian design elements of a long-curved bow and a thatched roof.  When Noah opens the window to release a dove (see Gen. 8:8-12), he is met by blue green waters and a rose-colored morning sky.

Noah had followed God’s instructions for building the ark.  He filled it with two of every kind of living creature, closed the door, and waited for the rain.  At the point in the story depicted on this issue’s cover, the rains have stopped, and the water is receding.  Noah releases a dove — a ground-dwelling bird — to search for dry land.  Unable to find any, the dove returns to Noah.  Seven days later, Noah releases the dove a second time, and it returns with an olive leaf.  In seven more days Noah releases the dove and this time it does not return — a sign of hope and God’s faithfulness.

I am struck by the fact that God’s faithfulness to Noah is revealed in a small olive leaf in the beak of an ordinary bird.  God had not forgotten him.  What a wonderful reminder that God often uses small and unassuming means to reveal God’s presence.  I invite us all to look for the small symbols of hope and God’s faithfulness in our lives today.

Cover art courtesy of Mrs. Frank Wesley.  © Frank Wesley.  Prints of cover art are available from

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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