DELIGHT yourself in the ‘SHADE’ of the ALMIGHTY
July 13 Bible Reading: Song of Solomon Chapters 1-3
"Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste." (Song 2:3)
In the above passage, the Shulamite girl is speaking about her beloved in flowery terms as she compares her beloved to the apple tree among all the trees in the forest. Just like an apple tree nourishes and cherishes any one with its juicy and delicious apples as well as provide shade from the scorching sunlight to the weary traveler, so is her beloved to the Shulamite. She sits under his shade with great delight and feeds on him to satisfy her hunger as his fruit is sweet to her taste.
When we interpret the Song of Solomon on a spiritual level, the theme of this book is the spiritual journey of the Church (the bride, represented by the ‘Shulamite girl’) to be drawn near to Jesus Christ (the bridegroom, represented by her ‘beloved’) in intimacy, and then to run in deep partnership with Him in ministry. As the Church rests under the shade of the finished work of the cross at Calvary, she is both nourished and nurtured by her beloved Jesus who is sweet to her heart. She experiences the superior pleasures of knowing God as she feeds at His table and lives under the banner of His excellent leadership. The goal of her life is her own spiritual happiness, and that happens best when she experiences God's presence through an intimate relationship with Him!
We can delight ourselves in the shade of the Almighty God when we sit at the feet of Jesus’ feet as Mary did when Jesus visited her home (Luke 10:39; John 11:32; 12:3). Jesus forever settled the debate about the importance of sitting at His feet by calling it the “one thing needed” and choosing the “good” way to live (Luke 10:42). Her decisions had eternal implications in being remembered by Jesus forever.
Like Mary of Bethany who sat at Jesus’ feet, we must sit before Jesus and experience His refreshing shade that protects us from the scorching heat of this fallen age. The cross is the only tree that can shade from the scorching heat of our sin. We only enjoy the shade of God’s Word by resting in the shade of Jesus’ cross. One of the greatest pleasures available to the human spirit is when we feed on His Word and feel His presence. The Word brings delight and is sweet to all who will continually feast on Jesus in spirit and truth.