God whispers, “I love you with an extravagant, abundant love.” through His creation.
Even the Song of Solomon, a story of two lovers, refers to a variety of plant life as the couple uses analogies of trees, flowers and fruit to express their delight in one another. For example:
“Your branches are a paradise of pomegranates with choicest fruits, henna with nard— nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices.” (Song of Solomon 4:13, 14, HCSB)
God’s loving kindness is illustrated through this lavish vegetation. With beautiful red-orange blossoms, pomegranates, taste sweet and sour. The young woman says that while most men are like a forest of common trees, her husband is as precious as an apricot. (Song of Solomon 2:3 HCSB ) The husband describes his wife as a date palm and grapes. (Song of Solomon 7:8) Certainly, fruit did does not have to be so lovely or delicious to provide nourishment, but God gives mankind produce with distinctive tastes and textures.
The other plants listed above are not necessary to sustain life; instead, each makes life more enjoyable. Orange henna dye, used to decorate the skin, grows on a shrub in a fragrant cream-colored cluster. Saffron is a type of spring-flowering crocus used in dye and food. Calamus is from the rattan family; when crushed, the leaves smell of ginger. Myrrh and frankincense, used in healing salves and prized perfumes, are made from the resin of trees. Used to flavor food, mint was also scattered on floors for its aroma during ancient times.
“I came down to the walnut grove to see the blossoms of the valley, to see if the vines were budding and the pomegranates blooming.” (Song of Solomon 6:11 HCSB)
Blossoms of the valley included lilies, lotus blossoms, bright blue buttercups, and wild flowers of every color, each with no lasting value, as its beauty was short-lived. Simply for our enjoyment, God blesses us with the generous splendor of the buds.
“The mandrakes give off a fragrance, and at our doors is every delicacy—new as well as old.” (Song of Solomon 7:13, HCSB)
Not only does God’s paintbrush color the valley; it also graces the rocky hard ground. One example is the mandrake, with its mauve flowers and yellow fruit. The plant’s name comes from its tubular, human-shaped root.
As I read the vivid descriptions in the Song of Solomon, I am in awe of the lavishness of the Creator. The lovers enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of plant life. I also feel His love through the variety of vegetation He offers.
Celebrating God’s goodness, I will marvel at the flowers, eat a vine-ripened tomato, inhale the scent of the honeysuckle, and walk barefoot through the grass. It is rude not to enjoy the gifts provided by my beloved.
What part of nature makes you feel the Creator’s love? Would love to hear in the comments.
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