|Posted by Lorraine Serra on April 22, 2016 at 11:55 AM|
Years ago the television actor Telly Savalas played a character
named Kojak. He coined the phrase “Who loves you, baby?”
It went down in history much like another well known phrase,
“Go ahead, make my day!” Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.
Isn't it interesting how a phrase can label, or identify a person?
Chapter 2 in Song of Solomon begins with just such a discussion of
identity. From what I am reading, the Shulamite woman comes out declaring her own
identity as a RESULT of who loves her!
Chew on that for one minute! She says she is the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. (plural!)
Her Beloved prince says she is a lily among thorns! Could this be where we get the phrase “A rose among thorns?”
She then responds to his kind words by describing her Beloved as an apple tree with sweet fruit offering tremendous comfort and protection in its shade. Are these two characters just the most endearing lovebirds ever?
I wonder what would happen if I told my husband he is my apple tree? Ha ha! I've never used that one, but I do call him my "hero" all the time! Terms of endearment are precious and enriching to a relationship. In this case, there is yet another poetic metaphor full of rich substance for us to consider.
Researching these images opened up the proverbial can of worms! Was there really a rose of Sharon? What lily is referenced here? Did she say it, or did he?
More importantly, what is the message Solomon wants us to receive and how can we apply it in a life-giving way to our lives and relationships?
Geographically, in the region of northern Palestine, near the Shulamite's hometown, there are open, marshy fields between the mountains and the Sea of Tiberias. These open plains are known for abundant flowers blooming in vibrant colors. They are fragrant, and spring up among thorny growth, and deer love to eat them. No surprise!
In a sense, they are common, lowly, nothing rare about them. However, they are sought after for their incredible beauty and wonderful aroma. The Shulamite woman here humbly declares that her position has been changed! She has been raised up from her lowly, common background by the personal love of this Beloved Prince!
I daresay it sounds a bit like Cinderella! Solomon seems to have provided the prototype for future writers, and foreshadowed the very salvation plan of God for all people!
What a picture for us as believers. Christ, our Prince, our King, has lifted us up out of the soggy, marshy, dangerous fields of our self-centered existence in a world full of danger and sin. He has become for us a safe place, our shade as the strong apple tree, pouring over us and into us the most delightful gifts of His love, His presence, His forgiveness and grace, His guidance and help.
She has been changed by the Beloved. Have we been changed by our beloved Christ?
When we truly grasp Christ's strong and everlasting love for us, well, a new identity is born. His Excellency, His Majesty chooses us to be His alone, one who will always be protected, guided, strengthened for our work, and provided for!
We can feel certain that indeed, we are invited to His banqueting table, no matter where we come from, or where we've been or what we've done or failed to do. Invited! To become part of the forever family at the King's table. A free gift of sonship, daughtership. And it's all because of Love, Perfect Love. Jesus Christ is the Giver of Life and Love. What is our response?
Lift up your head, oh children of God! You are chosen, deeply loved, highly favored. His banner over you is love! Until next time....
Precious Jesus, my Lord and King, you have graced me beyond measure! Thank you for drawing me close to Your heart, and giving me access to know You more deeply. I want to abide under the shade and shadow of the Almighty, and to learn from You and follow Your plan for my life. You have given me a new identity: highly favored, deeply loved, Child of the King. I praise You with all that I am. Amen!
Categories: Song of Solomon