The dove has long been the symbol of peace and love. I love to see them used in a marriage ceremony. Because doves mate for life, they are an especially poignant symbol of love. The dove is a symbol of peace for the state of Wisconsin and it is the state bird for Michigan. The French consider squab a delicacy. It is quite popular in French traditional cuisine. But because of its associations, it does seem a shame!
Our verse for today uses the image of a dove to symbolize the desire for escape and rest. David had been betrayed, not only by his counselor, Ahithopel, but by his own son, Absalom. He had to flee to the wilderness and defend himself. In Psalm 55, David was filled with anguish, fear and trembling. His only thought was to escape and fly away to a place of shelter and rest.
It is surprising that the image of a dove was used rather than one of a bigger stronger bird such as the eagle. However, there are some species of doves that can fly up to fifty miles per hour and up to six hundred miles in a day! The wings of a dove are a strong symbol of quick deliverance.
Where do I go when my heart is overwhelmed? When I am fearful of the future, where do I find peace and rest? When the hard times seem too much to bear, where can my heart settle down? His presence is my shelter. The protection of His wings is my escape (Psalm 91:4).
Lord, I fly to You today for that much-needed rest my heart so needs.
(Look familiar? This is a summer re-post due to ministry schedule.)