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The Wings of a Dove

DovePrior to Jesus’s baptism, the dove was seen sporadically throughout the Old Testament. Each reference to the dove in Scripture had symbolic meaning even then and would be eventually fulfilled in the greater context of Jesus’s life and ministry, beginning with His baptism and continuing through the movement of the Holy Spirit, which is actually the essence of what God is made of!  We are flesh and blood; God is the Holy Spirit. The Jewish people would have known and understood the symbolism of the dove from Old Testament stories and teachings. For the Spirit to descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove at His baptism was a public display of Christ’s divinity, a confirmation of His anointing, and a connection between His ministry and previous symbols of the dove (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32).

Furthermore, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospel, it is written that immediately following Jesus’s emergence from the water and descendance of the Holy Spirit, the voice of God the Father came from the heavens saying, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased” (Luke 3:22).

Jesus would fulfill much of the symbolism of the dove in early Scripture. He was: 

In John’s gospel, John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. “He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God” (John 1:33-34).

During the last days of the great flood, which had covered the surface of the earth, it is written that Noah sent a dove to search for dry land (Genesis 8:8-9). On several occasions, the dove returned to the ark, signifying that the waters had not yet receded. Finally, on a separate flight, the dove returned to the ark with a “freshly picked olive leaf” (Genesis 8:11) and then, after seven days, not at all (Genesis 8:12). It was then that Noah knew the waters had abated from the earth, and the ark would soon come to rest as on dry land. From then on, the dove was regarded as a harbinger of peace and the symbol of hope and new life. It was also the symbol of God's Spirit send down to Noah as a sign of love.

The second piece of symbolism that would eventually find fulfillment in the life of Jesus can be seen in the sacrificial system of the Mosaic law, where doves and turtledoves were the only birds that could be offered as acceptable sacrifices because of their perceived purity. (Genesis 15:9, Leviticus 12:6, Luke 2:24)

It is also worth mentioning that doves and turtledoves were often purchased and used by those who could not afford one of the more expensive offerings, such as a spotless lamb. Even then, God had made provisions for everyone, regardless of their wealth or status, to bring their best offerings before the Lord (Leviticus 5:7).

Knowing the heart of God in this matter helps explain why Jesus was later so infuriated by the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-21). Prior to His cleansing of the temple, the merchants and money changers had been taking advantage of the poor and overcharging for ritual sacrifices. In doing so, there were making it difficult for God-followers to buy sacrifices and come before the Lord (Matthew 21:12). This was something Jesus would not tolerate!(SOURCE:)

 

The Song, Wings of a Dove: written by Bob Ferguson in 1958.

On the wings of a snow-white dove He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above; On the wings of a dove
When Noah has drifted on the flood many days
He searched for land in various ways
Troubles he had some but wasn't forgotten
God sent him his love on the wings of a dove

On the wings of a snow-white dove He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above; On the wings of a dove

When Jesus went down to the river that day
There, he was baptized in the usual way
And when it was done; God blessed His son
He sent down His love; On the wings of a dove

On the wings of a snow-white dove God sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above; On the wings of a dove


When troubles surround us, when evils come
The body grows weak; The spirit grows numb
When these things beset us, God doesn't forget us
He sends us His love on the wings of a dove

On the wings of a snow-white dove God sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above; On the wings of a dove

VIDEOS:   Ricky Skaggs - FULL VERSION

Ferlin Husky (shorter version - Country crossed over to Rock N Roll). 

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