Drilling Deep in the Word

The Pitiful Mourn of the Dove

Ezek. 7:16

“ Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity.”Posted 12/13/13

By Reverend ray

“In his Life of Alexander Whyte, G. F. Barbour cites a sermon that, he says, caused its hearers to shudder as they recalled it fifty years afterwards. It described the hell-hounds of remorse yelping savagely at the heels of a man who had been wakened to the horror of his sin.1”

There is a pathetically loathsome sound that melts gently into the air of the early spring mornings in the forests of Pennsylvania amidst all the chatter of returning life; it is the tragic bemoaning song of the mourning dove calling for his mate.

For those who have never experienced the melodious noise and gabfest that comes alive in this time of the year under a canopy of dense foliage, it may be hard to imagine the startling sadness with which the dove’s song seems to break in on an otherwise bold clamoring of avian concert.

The low hum of the dove’s mourn seems to cut through and rise above all the festive music of the songbird’s joys and reminds us that life’s jubilee’s are often instantly smitten and laid low by the single blow from the sword of remorse.

Ezekiel knew something of this tragic scene as God unfolded for him the coming wrath upon Judah for her sins. God describes for Ezekiel in vivid terms the tragic conditions that will accompany those that would survive the onslaught of the Babylonian army in the wake of the destruction that comes upon Jerusalem.

She had sinned in worshipping of other gods. And now it would be these same mountain tops that were previously the site of their idolatrous worship that would become the place of mournful refuge.

Like doves fleeing the valley from the bird catcher unite in mournful plea upon the mountains (see Ps. 11:1), the surviving remnant would indulge in the gnawing distress of remorse.

Yet there was no suffering of remorse privileged to those that died by the sword and pestilence and famine. For remorse plies its trade upon the living dealing them a rue that offers no reprieves or escape from its hauntings.

This elixir for the soul offers no promises, guarantees no cure and in fact moves to only multiply the misery. Remorse has so worked its craft that it has driven men to insanity. To others, it has melted the wax that sealed the heart forever in an envelope of hatred toward God.

Jeremiah captures attitudes of heart in the group of survivors that would take refuge in Egypt rather than hear the warning of Jeremiah. (see Jer. 43:1-4)

Or consider the words spoken by M. F. Rich, an atheist, cried, “I would rather lie on a stove and broil for a million years than go into eternity with the eternal horrors that hang over my soul! I have given my immortality for gold, and its weight sinks me into an endless, hopeless, helpless Hell.”2

Charles Dickens captured the agony of remorse in the spirit of Jacob Marley in “A Christmas Carol.”

The sad song of the mourning dove echoes the music of the poet:

“Neath the burden press of sin,

midst its shadowed dark chagrin,

O’ the solemn hollow cry,

ere the soul that’s ner to die.

Tread beneath the wicked sod,

never respect for a Sovereign God.

Now it’s faced with dreaded doom.

‘or his heart had no room.

O’ the blessed holy King,

never once he thought to cling.

Remorse intentionally paints this gloomy picture upon the canvas of the soul that in the land of the living man might move to repentance and forgiveness from God through Jesus Christ.

I appeal to all in remorse to heed the invitation of Christ to come unto Him lest this poem be the epitaph that is sung by the immortal memory of the mourning of the doves upon the mountains.

 

Dribble from the pen

 

 


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