“Oh, that I had wings like a dove

A dove at the Pool of Bethesda (click on the Dove for a larger image.)

This morning I spent some time in the Old City of Jerusalem visiting the Temple Mount, and the Pool of Bethesda. The pool of Bethesda is known to Bible students from the account of Jesus’ healing a lame man, recorded in John 5. Few biblical sites have firmer archaeological evidence. I enjoyed listening to three or four tour groups singing beautiful hymns in the Church of St. Anne, The acoustics are exceptionally good there.

I made some new photos of the excavations of the ancient pool and the Byzantine building that was constructed over them (there are actually two pools). Something new that caught my eye was a beautiful dove perched near where I was standing.

In Psalm 55 David uses the imagery of the dove to describe his desire to be rid of his problems.

Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
2 Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
3 because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
7 yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
8 I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
(Ps. 55:1-8 ESV)

Who among us has not at times cried out this same way to be relieved of the problems that overwhelm us? David did indeed flee to the wilderness far away from the comforts of his home, but the ultimate resting place was in the LORD. We also can find that shelter in the Lord.

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