“I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.” Song of Solomon 5:2
Three days ago I am awakened from my slumber and all I could see in my mind’s eye is the word “Dove.” I pondered on it briefly before getting out of bed to start my day, and attempted to dismiss it as a random thought. Apparently, that wasn’t GOD’s intentions.
I began my morning routine, started the water for the shower, chose my outfit for the day, and began my morning prayer with our Heavenly Father. He immediately directed my attention back to the word “Dove.” Well, at this point I’m very much aware that this word, now having been clearly defined in my mind and heart, was something He needed me to talk with Him about. I acknowledged to Him that I needed His clarification and asked for His wisdom and guidance as to its meaning. No clear response was given to me, so I continued my prayer time and moved along with getting ready for my day. So in the shower I go.
Through the water and steamy vapors, I cautiously peered through the blanket of soap that covered my eyes, and I extended my hand to reach for the shampoo. In that instant my eyes grew wide as I noticed the name of the shampoo staring back at me…”DOVE.” Okay Lord, You have my attention, and I’m listening.
As I stood in awe of how He choosing to communicate with me, I noticed just below the name of the shampoo the following marketing statement…”Damage Therapy” and “Intensive Repair.” Then it hits me! Wow Lord! You’re speaking directly to my heart! Now to delve deeper into You as to what You need me to learn from this. The day continued with me in and out of prayer over what I felt He was trying to relay to me. He must have realized that’s all I could handle for one day, as that’s all I received.
The very next morning, with the word “Dove” still looming in my heart, I pulled out of the garage and onto my street to go to work. Not 100 feet down the road I’m met by a dove standing in the very middle of the road, facing me head on, not moving an inch. A lonesome dove, staring directly at me, not budging until the very last possible second before being impaled, as if he was saying to me, “I’m not moving until I know you’ve seen me.” How I LOVE the dynamics God chooses to get my attention.
Of course, being the thinker and prayer that I am, I could NOT just dismiss this as coincidence, being that I don’t believe in coincidence. I knew full well God needed me to hear Him on this issue and dive deeper. So deeper I went.
I wanted to know what the Bible had to say about doves. Here’s a bit of what I found: In Scripture, doves are portrayed as the most significant of all the birds mentioned. Two reasons 1) the dove was the first bird written about in the Bible, along with the raven, other than general references to fowls in connection with the creation story; and 2) the dove was the sacrifice which the poor man could bring in Old Testament practices as a sacrifice for his sin, so that no one was left out. Doves are symbolic for purity, love, faith, sacrifice and innocence. They are also known for their mourning, how they nest/lodge, and their ability to fly to safety.
I was first lead to:
6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
11 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.
The raven and the dove were both sent forth from the ark, but the raven stayed away. The raven did not return because he fed upon dead flesh. He had no problem finding something upon which to rest and to eat, but the dove will not touch dead flesh. She came back to the ark until the waters had abated to where she could pluck an olive leaf and bring it back to Noah. (She’s VEGAN! 😉 Coincidence? I think not!)
Being lead to this scripture, I know that God is pursuing me – calling to me to seek Him and His Word – beckoning me to rest in His mighty hands, as the events of my life, of this world and the people of it, flail amongst the uncontrollable waves of discord. He is assuring me that when I choose to perch in the safety of His promises, I will not be taken under, or overcome.
During Christ’s baptism, the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove – visible evidence of the Holy Spirit – and landed on Christ’s shoulder. God chose this as His sign to all that Christ is the Son of God, and His chosen One.
By seeing that lonesome dove in the middle of my street, staring me in the eye and not faltering in its placement, I know God was showing me His Holy Spirit, clearing my vision and reminding me, yet again, that because I have been made one with Christ, I am made pure. I am a chosen child of God and He has placed His Holy Spirit with me. It is He that lives in me, and He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. Praise be to God!
Song of Solomon 5
2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
This is a conversation between Christ and His beloved, Christ and His Church, Christ and me as an individual believer. In verse 2, there is the fitful sleeping of the person who is conscious that communion with the Lord has been neglected.
I feel like God is telling me I need to always remember Him first in everything that I do, not neglecting Him and not relying on man or this world for what only God can give me and satisfy within me. When I am not focused on Christ, then my focus is on this world and the people of it, exactly where it should not be. He is telling me I need to regain my focus to what truly matters – Him and our relationship. He longs to fellowship with me. Individuals break fellowship with God by having an alliance with the world. Those alliances must be broken that fellowship might be restored. (See II Corinthians 6:14-18) Scripture does not say that we should never have anything to do with the unsaved, or that we should not keep company with them, or to not be a witness. It does teach us that we should never enter into a binding yoke with the unsaved, whereby when God leads you to make a decision; you have to consider an unsaved person’s viewpoint. Any relationship with the unsaved that does not involve your allegiance to God is quite all right, but any relationship with the unsaved that involves your loyalty to God must be avoided. If we allow our relationships with the unsaved to hinder our loyalty to God, our relationship with Him will become contaminated. God calls His people to be pure people, a people that is separate and apart from the world.
13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
A better word for lien is lodged. King David had oftentimes seen doves who lodged among the pots for the warmth that was there and taken up refuge. When the dove lifted, it was soiled and dirty; but when the dove arose from that place where she was and mounted into the sunrise, the sun shone upon the wings of the dove, and King David said that she appeared to be covered with silver and her feathers as yellow gold.
I sense God is telling me that although I “lodge among the pots” and am “dirty and soiled by sin,” the grace of God takes hold of my life, and I am able to soar up out of all that filth and dirt because I am a new creature in Christ, and that which is dirty and that which is unlovely becomes beautiful in the sight of God. This revelation that He has brought to me brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart in knowing that there is nothing more beautiful than a changed life in Christ.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
2 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
3 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
I have often thought if I could just get away from it all! If I could just find a quiet spot and be alone in my thoughts! Where can I go to find solitude and rest? King David realized the need for coming apart, as Christ said to His disciples, “Come apart and rest awhile.” You can find your solitude and your rest in your fellowship in Christ. It is possible to be in the midst of everything and out of it at the same time.
28 O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth [“in the sides of the caves”].
Song of Solomon 2
14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.
Doves do not make their nests down low, but in high places away from all the activity. Jeremiah is saying to those who are responsive to God’s message, in the land of Moab, to be like the dove and get away to a place of safety. I know God is reminding me to do the same. In order for me to have the fellowship with God it is necessary to “get away from it all.” It is necessary for me to be in that secret, quiet place away from all the busy turmoil of life and alone with Him, listening for His still, small voice. We are prone to go to Him, and it is all one-sided. We go to Him for what we can get. He would like for us to come to Him because He loves us. You are His and you mean something to Him, and I think we are oftentimes prone to forget it. That is the reason He said, “Let Me see thy countenance, and let Me hear thy voice.”
I long for Christ to hear my voice and to be in communion with Him. He is reminding me that I cannot allow myself to be tripped up on the things and people of this world that steal my time away from Him and that try to convince me of things other than His truth. God refers to these distractions as “little foxes.”
Song of Solomon 2
15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
It is not the big things that break our fellowship with God. It is not the big things that keep up apart from God. It is the little things described here as foxes. Every once in a while, we have to go and capture those little foxes that spoil the vines. He is telling me to check the vines from time to time and see if the little foxes are not spoiling them.
Our relationship with Christ is one of growth. We can’t grow just by sailing along, riding on past experiences, and expect our relationship with Him to deepen. A relationship is grown through nurturing it, investing time into it, and specifically choosing it. If it is neglected, it will become broken and die.
14 Like a crane or a swallow [two birds noted for their chattering], so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
Naturalists tell us that when doves are separated, the one who is left behind sits and mourns with a moaning in her voice because her mate is missing, and there is no satisfying her until she is reunited with her mate. Hezekiah suddenly realized that all of his life was coming to an end, and the worst thing about it was that he lacked a sense of the presence of God. He moaned about it as the dove moans when she is separated from the one she loves.
I have been mourning a lot lately. This mourning, as I have come to realize, has been self-inflicted. I have separated myself, unconsciously, from the One that I love, and I’m left mourning like the dove. Instead of turning to the One who defines love, I have turned to the world looking to be defined by how it loves.
16 But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.
Ezekiel, like Isaiah, had often heard the doves mourning in mournful discontent because their fellowship with their mates had been broken, and when they reviewed that scene in their own minds, they were reminded of what it is when fellowship is broken for the people of God.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Notice: “…harmless as doves.” A better word for harmless is innocent. The reason that He said that is that He wanted us to be wise concerning the things of God and simple and innocent concerning the things that are evil. I believe we should be grounded in the Word of God so that we live by principles that are applicable to any situation. “You don’t have to go through the sewer to know how dirty it is. All you need to do is go down to the sewage plant and you will know. Go where the sewer comes out.” The devil would have us believe we have to be involved in order to know what is going on. We don’t. Remember the dove. Christ said, “I am sending you out into the world which is full of wolves, ready to pounce on you, but I want you to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” We have to live IN this world, not be OF it.
I believe God is telling me just because someone else acts worldly, doesn’t read the Word, involves themselves in worldly matters, looks to people for their significance, and finds their worth and value outside of God’s dimensions, that I am not to do the same.
I am God’s chosen child, His dove, and His love. He is my “intensive repair” and “damage therapy” and I choose to nest in Him until mourning is nigh.
Thank You Father for taking the time to place a word like “dove” in my heart to show me that my intensive repair and damage therapy can only be found in You. Thank You for showing me how I have been as a dove in mourning, lodging among the dirt and filth of pots, and yet You see me “as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and feathers with yellow gold.” In Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
May 18, 2012