Evening, March 13, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.” — Genesis 8:9
Wearied out by her wandering, the dove returns at length to the ark as her only resting place. How heavily she flies—she will drop—she will never reach the ark! But she struggles on. Noah has been looking out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her. She has just enough strength to reach the edge of the ark; she can hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts forth his hand and pulls her in to him. Mark that: “brought her into the ark to himself.” She did not fly right in herself, but was too fearful, or too weary to do so. She flew as far as she could, and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in to him. This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chastised for her wandering. Just as she was, she was pulled into the ark. So you as well, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received. “Only return”—those are God’s two gracious words—”only return.” What! Nothing else? No, “only return.” She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wandering; but the call is “only return,” and she does return, and Noah pulls her in. Fly, you wanderer; fly you fainting one, dove as you are, though you think yourself to be black as the raven with the mire of sin, fly back, back to the Savior. Every moment you wait just increases your misery; your attempts to preen yourself and make yourself fit for Jesus are all vanity. You, come to him just as you are. “Return, backsliding Israel.” He does not say, “Return, repenting Israel” (there is such an invitation, doubtless), but ” backsliding one,” as a backslider with all your backslidings all about you; Return, return, return! Jesus is waiting for you! He will stretch forth his hand and “pull you in”—in to himself, your heart’s true home.