Summary: To make us introspect as to whether "Dove traits" are seen in us....
Dovetailing some Dove facts !!!
One needn’t be a bird scientist to discern the fact that God’s Holy Word attaches a lot of importance to a Dove. Almost fifty times, there is a mention of Dove in the Scriptures…more than that of any other avian creature. As early as Genesis 1:2, we see a symbolism which would create in one’s mind-eye a picture of a Dove hovering over the waters. Why even the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord at the time of His Baptism in the form of a Dove (Matt 3:16)!!!
In this Sermon, I intend to train my spotlight on the holy similarities which exist between a Dove and the Holy Spirit. At this stage, we would be well served to ask ourselves a question… “Are these traits found in me”, for in a Christian in whom the spirit of Christ resides (Romans 8:9), these qualities ought to be as naturally found like water in a surging river.
Ask a Dove (the only bird of the avian world permitted for sacrifice under the OT dispensation-Leviticus 1:14-17/12:8) to alight on anything unclean like a carcass and it would plainly refuse! Remember the account of a dove sent by Noah to check on the receding waters of the Flood, which came back to him, without landing on the defiled carrion? Contrast this attitude with that of the raven sent at that time. As it did not have natural revulsion for anything unclean, it did not come back (Genesis 8:7-9), instead without any doubt it would have feasted on the floating carcasses’.
If we have been cleansed by the atoning blood of Christ and if the Holy Ghost is a holy and a permanent guest in our lives, then naturally as one wise soul put it “WE WOULD BECOME ALLERGIC TO WHAT WE WERE ADDICTED TO (SIN) AND WE WOULD BECOME ADDICTED TO (HOLINESS) WHAT WE WERE ALLERGIC TO”.
Doves, say the avian scientists are also strictly monogamous birds. Once a Dove chooses its mate…till death do us part…sacred vow comes into effect immediately. The one man, one wife principle set in motion in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:21-24) encapsulating sexual purity, subsequent to the Fall operated sadly only in fits and starts in OT era (Issac and Rebaccah were an honorable exception). Quite fittingly, we see the Holy Spirit also working only in fits and starts in the OT era, equipping people for a special assignment here… a distinctive work there and nothing more! Simply put, the Holy Ghost was never permanent resident in the OT era. It is only in the NT dispensation what with the arrival of Holy Spirit imminent on the Pentecostal day, do we see the urgency to restore the pristine purity in the conjugal relationship (Matt 19:8-11/Mark 10:6-12/Luke 16:18). In the Early Church age, the apostles followed suit adhering to the Master’s command, whilst teaching on the subject of marital fidelity (I Cor 7:10-11/I Tim 3:2). How true then “in the heart of holy marriage lies the holiness of the heart, made holy by the Holy Spirit”!
While on the subject, not only Holy marriage, let it be said at this juncture that nothing of what Jesus’ preached in that famous Sermon on the Mount can ever be practiced without the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 15:5/James 4:5-6 NLV). As one Biblical scholar put it “Christianity can never become our RESPONSIBILITY, till we acknowledge that it is primarily our faith-filled RESPONSE TO HIS ABILITY”.
Now the anatomical study of Doves would reveal that it has no gall. The gall, say acclaimed naturalists is the source behind a contentious and a bitter spirit. As day follows night, it follows that in the absence of gall, this Bird is uniquely gentle (Matt 10:16 –MSG). Ever seen doves fighting over food, like crows do? NEVER!
Is not the fruit of the Spirit among other things “gentleness” (Gal 5:23)? If Holy Spirit were indwelling us then it follows that we would be “gentle”men to the core. Period. Our evangelistic efforts (now some Christians sadly become too aggressive here) would be marked not by any “holier-than-thou” behavior but by a gentle and an affable spirit (I Peter 3:15-16).
Where gentleness pervades, can happy fellowship be far away? Early Church swayed by the Holy Spirit was known for the frequency of its prayer meetings fostering happy fellowship (Acts
2:42) in the process. While avian researchers affirm that Doves are highly social birds, the Scriptures also point to the fact that doves live as a happy community together (Isaiah 60:8). Even in one of our Church benedictions’…do not we see the words fellowship and Holy
Spirit going together (II Cor 13:14)? While cottage prayer meetings in Lenten season are good, there is nothing prohibiting any Church to have cottage prayer meetings throughout the year. Nothing quite like constant communion and frequent fellowshipping to grow in the Lord, like the Ist century Church!