The Eagle and the Dove

Who does not remember the psalmist's words, "So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's," and Jesus' illustration, "Harmless as doves"? The Bible repeatedly uses these two birds to express spiritual qualities. The eagle is swift, strong, and graceful, mounts into the sky, and makes its nest on high. Its face denotes piercing keenness of spiritual perception. Nothing escapes the eagle eye. The spiritually minded are sharp-sighted, detecting hidden error and uncovering it as nothing. With beak and talons and beating wings the eagle is formidable to the evildoer. Its extraordinary flight distinguishes it in the bird kingdom. There is no reason why extraordinary accomplishments should not be made by us when there is the inexhaustible power of God and a never ending supply of intelligence to draw upon. We read in Revelation that when the dragon "persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child ... two wings of a great eagle" were given her "that she might fly into the wilderness."

The psalmist also sighed, "Oh that I had wings like a dove!" and we remember that after Jesus' baptism by John "he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." The dove symbolizes tenderness and peace. Individuals may prefer the dove to the eagle or the eagle to the dove, but the spiritual qualities symbolized by both birds are necessary in bringing men and nations out of bondage into freedom. In righting present world conditions the eagle is making the way straight for the dove of peace, but the unrighteous planner would have had the dove fly on ahead and be pierced by the arrow of hate while carrying the olive branch of peace in its beak. Not so was it decreed in God's plan. There is need for reformation and reparation, for a just acknowledgment of crimes committed and mistakes made, before God's permanent peace can come, with war no more.

June 1, 1918

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.