Song of Solomon 2:3
“As an apple tree among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among young men.
With great delight I sat in his shadow,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
We have been enjoying wisdom literature this week from the Bible. Much of it is poetry or like Proverbs, short sayings. Song of Solomon is a love story that uses the language of eroticism of couples in love. Many think this book speaks to the deep love that God has for his people, his creation. Solomon likens the beloved to an apple tree among the “trees of the wood.” I’m not that familiar with apple trees but I know they are not fir trees and they are not bushes. An apple tree in the middle of the Redwoods would look unique indeed. Nor do we decorate an apple tree at Christmas, only for a special occasion. Finding an apple tree in the middle of a woods and finding it full of apples would be unique and delightful. Love is like that. Human love like the apple tree has fruitful times and dry times. God’s love is always producing. Relationship with Christ is like an apple tree in the woods of life.
I have sat at the airport and watched the couples walk by and pondered their stories of being drawn to each other. The saying is “love is blind” and that describes God’s love. He isn’t looking for the perfect model, the perfect whatever but his love sees the other as perfect and unique. God sees each of us unique among the trees of the woods.
Those first introductory experiences often erupt in long conversations with friends about “is he the one?” The delight of sitting In his shadow and allowing the relationship to grow is like the growth of faith. Faith has questions, doubts, hopes, fears and all the aspects of getting to know the other. Perhaps years later we look back at the growth and delight in those shadow times. God’s love also shades us during the heat of the experiences of life.
And yes, there is the delight of the first kiss or the first hug or the first note. An apple tree would look unique in the woods, would be delightful to sit under in its shadow, and its fruit would be sweet to taste. An apple tree is a nice description for the growth of relationship with a God who delights in you. May we sit back and say a prayer of thanks that God sees us as unique, shades us, and feeds. Thank you Lord.