And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.…
I. THE EXCLAMATION IS PERFECTLY NATURAL. Who can think of the daily life of our merchants with all their ventures, investments and transactions, without feeling that without anything of indolence or the mere spirit of repining, thousands of men and women legitimately long to get out of the care and clamour of life; to get far away into the refreshing silence and solitudes of nature, where the wearied spirits and jaded faculties may find rest?
II. THE WISH IS NOT ALWAYS CREDITABLE. Instead of crying out, "O that I had wings like a dove" — O that I had the spirit of a man, both to discern clearly what the Lord has given me to do, and the spirit of activity and obedience to go and do it, and do it perseveringly, while life and health are given, so that when rest comes it may be enjoyed as a boon after honest toil, and not wear the aspect of a premature or dishonourable repose.
III. SOMETIMES IT TURNS OUT TO BE A MISTAKEN WISH. Under circumstances of trial and great pressure of duty the cry goes forth, "O that I had wings." You determine to cut the cable that ties you to local engagements and arduous duties, and you flee away as fast as the wings of steam can carry you to some secluded spot — "to a lodge in a vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity of shade." But lo! when arrived there, have you not sometimes found that your cares and anxieties, from which you would fain escape, have travelled with you by the same train or boat? You need not go out of this psalm for the answer — for the best of all antidotes to this complaint. David knew it. He not only repaired to the wilderness, he betook himself to God (Psalm 16, 17.). He prayed, and like Luther in later days, he prevailed. In verse 22, the fugitive, but devout king, from the depths of his own experience, gives this blessed piece of advice to all anxious souls, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord," etc.
(D. Jones, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.