TODAY’S READING: SONG OF SOLOMON 1-4
“As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” – Song of Solomon 2:3
Jesus said every book in the Bible, all the law, wisdom, and prophets, spoke of him. That means even the Song of Solomon speaks about Jesus. The verse above is a prime example.
In this verse, the woman says that her beloved stands out among all the other young men like an apple tree among all the trees of the forest. Therefore, the question we need to answer is how does the apple tree stand out from among all the other trees of the forest?
The Hebrew word for apple is used just six times in the Old Testament. The first time it is used is in Proverbs 25:11, which says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” This verse is a wonderful picture of Jesus on the cross.
According to John 1:1, we know that Jesus is the word. He is the logic and the reason for creation.
Jesus, the word, was fitly spoken. To speak is to declare. So, Jesus, the word, the logic and reason for creation, was declared. Jesus was declared fitly. This verse is the only time the Hebrew word translated fitly is in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word literally means the proper time and/or the proper way. Since the word is used just once in scripture, it reveals to us that there was one singular time and one singular way that Jesus, the word, the logic and reason for all creation, could be spoken.
What was this proper, singular, time and way for Jesus to be declared?
I think we all know the answer, but let’s look at the second part of the proverb.
A word fitly spoken is like apples. Apples, of course, are produced by a tree. So, the proper, the singular, time and way for Jesus to be declared was from a tree. In other words, the one and only time and way Jesus was truly declared to us was on the cross.
Jesus, the word fitly spoken, is not like just any old apples. No, he is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Gold speaks of divinity and silver speaks of redemption. Here we see Jesus, the word fitly spoken, as the son of God according to his divine nature on the cross, the place of redemption, a setting of silver.
This is how Jesus stands out from all other men.
The son of God.
The divine man.
The reason for all creation.
Revealed the only time and the only way.
On the cross.
All of this gives context to what the woman says in the second half of verse 3, “With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
This speaks to sitting in the shadow of the cross and tasting the sweet fruit of the cross. Obviously, we cannot do either of these literally. So, what is this speaking about?
The Hebrew word for shadow also means protection. When we sit in the shadow of the cross we are under God’s protection. First Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” And, Ephesians 1:13 says, “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” God’s seal, his shadow or protection for us, is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.
Interestingly, the Hebrew word shadow in Song of Solomon 2:3 has a gematria value of 120. The number 120 is linked to the pouring out of the Spirit in the temple of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 5:12-14 and into the disciples on the day of Pentecost in Acts 1:15 and 2:1-4.
Jesus’ fruit that is sweet to our taste is the fruit of the Spirit. We get to taste this fruit when the Spirit resides. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
When we sit in the shadow of the cross of Jesus, the word fitly spoke, and taste of his fruit, apples like gold in a setting of silver, we truly get to taste real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.