“But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark” (Genesis 8:9).
Unlike the raven, which Noah had sent out first, the dove could not live on the carrion floating on the flood waters. After nine months cooped up in the ark, she had reveled in her freedom when Noah first released her from the window of the ark. Unaware of the outside perils while safe with Noah, she flew gaily off into the open spaces beyond, just like many a professing Christian, eager to cast off the constraints of his or her parental religion. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness” (Psalm 55:6,7).
But the dove could find no rest away from Noah, whose very name means “rest!” His father, Lamech, by prophetic inspiration, had called his name Noah, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed” (Genesis 5:29). So she finally returned, finding rest once again in Noah’s outstretched hands.
Just so, the Lord Jesus, in His greater ark of secure salvation, is waiting at its open window, with arms outstretched, inviting all those weary of the doomed world outside to return to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). Christ’s message to the weary wanderer is: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, . . . return unto me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22). HMM