Sharon is a real place. It is one of the largest valley plains in all of Palestine. In Solomon’s time, it was a wild and fertile plain that had many beautiful flowers. Here, the Bride likens herself to a rose and a lily. A rose symbolizes beauty and fragrance. In Solomon’s day, it was Chief among flowers. The lily stands for purity. The bride sees herself as beautiful and pure, even in the valley.
In verse 2, the Bridegroom refers to the Bride as a “lily among thorns”. In His eyes, she stands pure in the midst of a fallen and sinful world. In contrast, the rose and lily depict the heart of the Bride to not only stand beautiful and pure before her Bridegroom, but to LOVE and OBEY Him always.
“Our love and obedience for Jesus rises as a fragrance that intoxicates Jesus’ heart. We were created and redeemed to fully love (rose) and obey (lily) Jesus as His inheritance and thus to bring joy and pleasure to God.” – Mike Bickle
“He who has My commandments and keeps them,
it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21)
Our primary identity and love for Jesus is not found in what we do for Him, but rather what we pursue with our hearts towards Him. God already sees us as beautiful and pure, and this breaks off a lack of purpose, failure and identity in our lives. In order to continue to walk in our true God-given identity, we must continually ask God for the revelation and understanding to see ourselves as He sees us.
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”(Ephesians 1:17-18)
In verse 3, the Bride makes a declaration that Jesus alone is the one who refreshes and fully satisfies her heart.
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my Beloved among the sons.” (Song 2:3a)
The Bridegroom is likened to an apple tree. The apple tree speaks of that which refreshes. “Refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick.” (Songs 2:5) The Bride enjoys sitting in the presence of the King. To sit and be refreshed in His presence is the One Thing that is needed. Mary chose to live a life of extravagant devotion before the Lord, therefore putting herself in a position to be continually refreshed in His presence.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
The Word of God brings a refreshing shade, which protects use for the scorching heat of a fallen world. In order to experience the delight and refreshing of Jesus as the apple tree, we must sit and feast on His Word. Even when we are faced with trials, the Lord prepares a table for us from which to feast in His presence.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (Psalm 23:5)
We will persevere through great difficulty if we seek Him and find our delight by being in His presence.
His Banner over me is Love
“He brought me to the banqueting house,
and His banner over me was love.” (Song 2:4)
In the ancient world, armies would march under battalions under a specific flag or banner. Each unit had their own banner by which they were clearly identified. Jesus leads us by the banner of His good leadership (wise, loving and powerful) that leads us to grow in love and in our identity as His inheritance as the Bride of Christ. – Mike Bickle
We are called to feast at God’s banqueting table, filling up with the Word of God. There, we celebrate His banner of love over us and are strengthened in the revelation that we are His inheritance with our primary identity being found in simply being a lover of God.
The Activity of God in our Lives
“His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand embraces me.” (Songs 2:6)
The left hand refers to the activity of God in our lives that we cannot see. It is under the head, therefore it is out of view. The Lord does many things for us that we cannot see. He withholds and releases blessing to both provide for and protect us. He keeps us from harm, much of which we are not even aware of.
The right hand is the visible activity of God, that which we can see. It is the sweet and manifest presence of the Lord that we can feel and discern. We might often be able to feel our hearts being tenderized by the working of God’s right hand in our lives.
The Holy Spirit Guards Our Heart
The Bridegroom is wooing the heart of His bride under the shade of the apple tree and at the banqueting table. The Spirit solemnly charges others to not disturb her.
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the doves of the field, do not stir up (disturb) or awaken love until it pleases.” (Songs 2:7)
The daughters of Jerusalem represent believers who are unable to discern the working of the Holy Spirit in the Bride’s life. The Spirit charges other believers to not disturb the devoted ones with the Bride’s heart in this season by their opinions or judgments; therefore, they are instructed not to disturb the Bride in her season of sitting at the table to be sustained and refreshed by the Word. Many are of the opinion that one should seek God less and increase in ministry activity. However, God clearly states that there are seasons where we are to do nothing but seek Him. Ministry will follow when we are strong enough.
As I conclude this study, I felt impressed of the Lord to share these from His heart to yours:
You, oh precious daughter of the King and beloved of the Bridegroom, are beautiful and pure in His eyes. You can walk with our head held high, knowing that your identity is secure in Him. He delights in You and desires that you would sit under the shade of His apple tree so that He can refresh you. He has prepared a table before you and is calling you to come and partake of Him, eating of His Word, being fulfilled by Him and Him alone. His banner over you is love. His left hand is under your head. He guides you through the dark times, when you cannot see. His right hand embraces you. He has given you so many blessings. Can you see them? He is calling you away with Him, into the secret place, just you and Him. You need not worry about doing for God. Just simply be with God. Everything else will fall into place. This is who you are, oh beloved daughter of the King!
I am anxious to hear how God is speaking to you through this portion of scripture. Remember, you can link up any time between Wednesday and Saturday. And next week I will have a special guest post to wrap up Chapter 2!