Unless otherwise noted, scripture references are from the Message Bible.
Song of Songs
“I’m just a wildflower picked from the plains of Sharon, a lotus blossom from the valley pools, a lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds. As an apricot tree stands out in the forest, so my lover stands above the young men in town. All I want is to sit in his shade, to taste and savor his delicious love. He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!”
Sharon was a jungle of oaks and swampy marshes rather than a fertile plain. We were the same way before we came to Christ. Living fleshly ways, we were like an untamed animal from a jungle of swampy marshes, bogged down by all the filth and shame we carried. In Is. 65:10, we see that Sharon will become a pasture for flocks. It is symbolic of the peace God grants to His people. We also see that Jesus came as the Rose of Sharon. He grew among the brambles of this world to accomplish His Father’s will so that He could rescue His Bride from her jungle, giving her a pasture where she can feed and rest.
We see Jesus as the lotus, which is a waterlily. He is the Lily of the Valley, rescuing us from our valley. Once we invite Him into our hearts, He blossoms even among all of the weeds which have taken over our heart for years. Because of all that He has done to prove His undying love for us, He stands out to us even when we feel that we are in a forest, covered with the shadows of the many trees (trials) which are surrounding us, casting dark shadows of fear upon us. Yet, sitting in the shade of our Beloved is a desirable place because we are sheltered under the wings of the Almighty. He allows us to taste and savor His love, and in turn, we see His eyes feasting on us, delighting in us, rejoicing in us. (Ps. 34:8; Zeph. 3:17-18)
In verse 8 her lover is leaping across the mountains and over the hills for her. Did you realize that Jesus does the same for you? Your Bridegroom went all the way to hell to prove His deep love for you.
Further into the chapter, He speaks again, “Come, my shy and modest dove — leave your seclusion, come out in the open. Let me see your face, let me hear your voice. For your voice is soothing and your face is ravishing.” She is in seclusion, yet he wants her to come out into the open. Many times, we have those places of seclusion in our hearts, but God wants us to bring them out into the open. We think we are protecting ourselves by keeping those issues in seclusion, but all we are doing is isolating ourselves from a deeper relationship with our Bridegroom.
Just as He is calling her in this portion of scripture, Jesus calls us. How do we respond when He’s calling for us? Does guilt or condemnation make us want to hide, as she did? Do we fear what He will say to us? Do we fear what He will ask of us? In the very next verse it mentions the little foxes that ruin the vineyards. The little foxes can be those hidden, secluded things. It can also be the guilt, fear, or condemnation. They keep your ‘garden’ from growing the way that God intends for it to grow.
Do you have any foxes that you need to remove from your garden? Are you hiding from your Beloved Bridegroom?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller