Wearied out with her wanderings, 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 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 unto him. Mark that:
pulled her in unto him
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 unto him.
This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chidden for her wanderings. Just as she was she was pulled into the ark. So you, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received.
Those are God’s two gracious words.
What! nothing else?
No. “Only return.”
She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings; but it 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, back, back to the Saviour.
Every moment you wait does but increase your misery.
Your attempts to plume yourself and make yourself fit for Jesus are all vanity.
Come to him just as you are.
“Return, thou backsliding Israel.” He does not say, “Return, thou repenting Israel” (there is such an invitation doubtless), but “thou backsliding one,” as a backslider with all thy backslidings about thee.
Return, return, return!
Jesus is waiting for you!
He will stretch forth his hand and “pull thee in”–in to himself.
Your heart’s true home.