Your Turtledove

Your Turtledove (Feb. 24, 2009)

Psalm 74,19 Do not surrender your turtledove to the beast; do not forget the life of your oppressed people.

Genesis 8,6-9 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and released a raven, which flew back and forth as it waited for the waters to dry up on earth. He then released a dove, to see whether the waters were receding from the surface of the earth. But the dove finding no where to perch, returned to him…

Psalm 68,13: Meanwhile you others were lolling in the sheepfolds [literally between the middle of the two walls of the sheep gate JB n. h]. There were dove-wings covered with silver, on their pinions the sheen of green gold; jewels were there like snow on Dark Mountain.

Genesis 15,9 Bring me a three year old heifer, a three year old she goat, a three year old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon. He brought him all these, split the animals down the middle and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide.

The Psalmist refers to the faithful of Judah, and by extension Israel, to a turtledove (Psalm 74,19), a defenseless bird, that can only fly so far, for so long, mournful moaning (cf Isaiah 59,11), looking for peace, and hasn’t quite found her rest, yet would be faithful to her mate, and her God.

Yes Judah had just lost it’s temple in 586 BC at the hands of the ax wielding Babylonian mob (v.6). And she joined her brother Israel in exile, in Babylon. She had no place to land, like the dove that Noah released, until the floodwaters of judgment subsided.

Do not surrender us God- do not sacrifice us without a care like we have sacrificed to you. Have mercy- we have No Temple-No home! We have no place to land! We don’t even have a decent place to worship anymore. We are weary with our weaknesses (idolatries) and we have no one to turn to now, but you.

For such a witless and weak thing the dove sure has a great biblical and Holy Ghost pedigree.
Let’s count the ways of her importance.

1. She symbolizes all God’s people in Genesis 8, seeking and sometimes finding the olive barnch.

2. She was part of the first sacrifice depicting the covenant between Abraham and God (Genesis 15). And God insisted that unlike all the other sacrifices it was not to be split in two, for one day it would have the Holy ghost fire not just pass by and pass through, but wholly infill!

3. She was the most offered, and least expensive, sacrifice, the gift of the poor to God (Leviticus 1,14).

4. As representative of Israel and now all God’s faithful grafted in (Psalm 68,13) she always gets help from God. With silver in her wings and gold on her feet, she always can keep moving and flying with God, unlike some of the tribes who hung back and didn’t move as God took the promised land (Judges 5,16).

She doesn’t have to get stuck in the sheep gate, neither in the fold or out of it.

That is, her tired wings get the power of silver streams in flight, her slow unsure feet get set in burnished gold.

And when we live our lives by faith and love and moving with God, we soar- we are silver and gold taken flight.

5. She comes down from heaven representing both God and God's people and identifies Jesus as the Son of Israel and the Son of God (Luke 3,22). The Jerusalem, Place of Peace, Above Reveals the Prince of Peace below, in his once and future home!

Yes the God of Israel reveals the Son of Israel. And as the Son was begotten so are we today, by the very same Spirit of God, by our faith and his decree. “You are my Son; today I have fathered you.”

That’s some high cotton for a dove.

And I remember “On the wings of snow white dove, he brings me pure sweet love, a sign from above, on the wings of a dove.

Prayer For Now

Oh Dear God do not surrender Your Turtledove to the Beast.

Help Israel stay unified and whole and become a place of your peace.

Help us Christians, living on the wings Holy Ghost, to find places to land amidst of the storms of judgment in our day.

Help us stay whole and Holy while the worldly beast of Babylon tries to rip us apart.

Help us to be humble, to be offering ourselves, and to move quickly and strongly when you move, to demonstrate, to soar with the silver and gold of your Spirit.

Shake up those lolling in the sheepfolds, neither in or out, hanging back like some of the tribes did when you took Canaan.

Deliver us soon Lord God of Israel, Come Lord Jesus, Come!




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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.