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Christ’s Dove

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Pah, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Christ’s Dove
    Song of Songs 2:14-2:14

    In it’s Preface to the Song of Solomon (also known as the Song of Songs) the New King James Version gives these details. "The Song of Solomon is a love song written by Solomon and abounding in metaphors and oriental imagery. Historically, it depicts the wooing and wedding of a shepherdess by King Solomon, and the joys and heartaches of wedded love.

    "Allegorically, it pictures Israel as God’s betrothed bride (Hosea 2:19,20), and the church as the bride of Christ. As human life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of man and woman, so spiritual life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of God for His people and Christ for His church" (Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1996).

    Pastor and counselor Tommy Nelson (Senior Pastor of Denton (TX) Bible Church) has this to say: "For many people, the Song of Solomon is the mystery book of the Bible. Tucked among the books of the Bible in the section called the Wisdom Literature, the Song of Solomon has the distinction of being the only book of the Bible that seems to have been edited and censured by the Christian church. Most Christians don’t read it, don’t understand it, and have never heard a sermon from it. Yet no message could be more needed today. The Song of Solomon is the book for this generation, in my opinion" (Tommy Nelson, The Book of Romance, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998, p.xiii).

    The Song of Solomon is rich in descriptive language, picturing Christ the heavenly Bridegroom and His Bride—the Church. The entire book flows with a love that all but defies description.

    It is not a sordid love of a carnal nature, as some might suppose, but rather a love that is pure and real. Just as two people genuinely in love will employ every beautiful word and phrase at their command to describe each other, so the language of the Song of Solomon is the language of love.

    In chapter five, verse two, the bride is likened to a dove by her beloved. She hears him knocking, saying, "Open to me . . . my dove." He has already made a similar reference in chapter two, verse fourteen, saying "O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock . . . " Later he employs the same words of love in a statement fraught with meaning when he says, "My dove, my undefiled is but one . . ." (Song of Solomon 6:9).

    These references to the bride as being a dove are of particular interest. They become very significant when viewed in the light of their application to the Church, the Bride of Christ. We can almost hear the echo of these words from the Song of Solomon as Jesus speaks to the disciples, saying, ". . . Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

    What then is the significance of Christ designating His Bride, the Church as His dove? Its significance becomes apparent when we consider a few things about doves, noting the striking parallel between them and God’s people today.

    In Bible times one of he chief uses of the dove was for sacrifice. They often were used when a lamb was too expensive for the offerer. Alluding then to this use of the dove in sacrifice we recall Paul’s words in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. . . ."

    Living for Christ demands our sacrifice. The entire history of the Church has been one of sacrifice. Men and women in all walks of life have sacrificed fame, fortune, popularity, prestige, friends, and many their vary lives in sacrificial service to their beloved Lord. The call to the Church today is still to sacrifice. May we see that as Christ’s dove we may be called upon at any time to sacrifice for Him, even to the laying down of our lives.

    But even the particular mode of offering the dove was strictly defined. See Leviticus 1:14-17. In this passage we have a repetition of Abram’s sacrifice in Genesis 15:9, 10. You will note that care was taken that the bodies of the birds should not be divided. How meaningful this is when we recall the words of the bridegroom, saying, "My love, my undefiled is but one . . ." (Song of Solomon 6:9). Immediately we can see God’s thought for the Church—it should be undivided, it should be one.

    Jesus prayed in John 17:21, "That they all [believers everywhere] may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Paul speaking by the Spirit says, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6).

    Christ’s dove is not to be divided! His dove is one. Surely it must be a grief to His heart when men go contrary to His command and divide His dove, His Bride, His Church. How blessed will that person be who will seek to bring together God’s people in "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).

    Further investigation into the nature and habits of the dove reveal many other interesting qualities that are characteristic of the Bride of Christ. From time immemorial the dove has been a type of conjugal love. One reason given for the gentle disposition of the dove is that the bird has no gall—the gall being considered by naturalists of old as the source and fountain of contention, the bitterness of the gall supposedly infusing itself into the spirit.

    This same loving and gentle disposition is found in every Christian who walks in the Spirit and yields to His influence, letting Him manifest in the life the fruit of the Spirit which is love. As we yield to the Spirit, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. It is a love both toward our Beloved and also toward all whom He loves. For we can love Him only to the degree and measure that we love one another.

    The dove is also an emblem of chastity as it lives in strictest monogamy, never desiring another mate. Perhaps the bridegroom had that thought in mind when he said of his bride, ". . . thou hast doves’ eyes . . ." (Song of Solomon 4:1).

    Just as the dove has eyes for its mate only, so the Christian has an eye single to Christ and to His glory. How we need in this hour to fix our gaze upon Him who is altogether lovely. Is it not true that we become like that which fills our vision and we reflect that which is set before our faces? If we are looking at the world and the flesh then we shall reflect that image. But we have the privilege of "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord . . . [that we may be] changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

    What is the reason we have such qualities that Christ would call us His dove? It is because we are made "partakers of the divine nature . . ." (2 Peter 1:4). This is the source. If there is anything lovely in the Church it is only because He has imparted His own loveliness to her. We are His dove because He makes us so.
    ____________
    http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=54430&ContributorID=1909
    By Charles W. Holt
    Orange, Texas
    email: [email protected]
     
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