“And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.”
On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens exploded, devastating over 200 square miles in Southwestern Washington State. The heat spewing from the volcano melted the snow that covered its heights, creating mud flows that covered the surrounding area. The grim prediction was that forests and wildlife would never be found on or near the mountain within our lifetimes.
Mount St. Helens’ recovery from the devastation provides us with a comparatively small-scale model of the recovery from the great Flood at the time of Noah. Only ten years after the eruption, much of the plant and animal life in the devastated area had returned. Today, evergreens stand taller than a man, fish swim in the lakes and rivers, and frogs are in the ponds. Even larger animals like elk can be found in the once-desolate area. This suggests that it would not have taken generations for the foliage that God preserved in the Flood waters to re-grow forests and jungles, providing homes for the growing, migrating population from the Ark. Before that could happen, Noah had to know that there was somewhere for the animals to go. So he first sent out a raven. Mount St. Helens illustrates why Noah decided to send a raven first. Among the first new colonizers at Mount St. Helens was the raven. They are part of God’s army of scavengers to remove the dead and can live in a wide variety of conditions.
Here again we see that even the small details recorded in the Bible are true to real life.
Dear Father, I thank You for giving us Your perfect Word of Life. Amen.
Creation, 3-5/00 pp. 33-37, “After Devastation, The Recovery.” Photo: Mount St. Helens, one day before it erupted. (PD)