TODAY’S READING: SONG OF SOLOMON 5-8
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how the woman, the bride, the church, of Song of Solomon saw her beloved, Jesus, as an apple tree amongst the trees of the forest. I showed how the apple tree represented Christ on the cross. And, the woman asked her beloved to refresh her apples. In other words, the church is refreshed by the fruit of Christ on the cross.
The word apple was used twice in the first four chapters. And, the word apple is used twice in the last four chapters.
In Song of Solomon 7:8, the man, the bridegroom, Jesus, said, “Oh may…the scent of your breath [be] like apples.”
Then, in Song of Solomon 8:5, the woman, the bride, the church says, “Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you; there she who bore you was in labor.”
So, the word apple is used four times in the book. Many, many times throughout scripture when we see something used four times or a list of four three of things will be similar and one will be different. And, that’s the case with the word apple in Song of Solomon. Three times the woman speaks the word apple. And, one time the man speaks the word apple.
In 7:8, when the man, Jesus, speaks the word apple, he is speaking to his beloved, the church, saying that the scent of her breath should be like apples. Again, in yesterday’s post, I wrote about how Jesus is a word fitly spoken like apples of gold in a setting of silver, which speaks to Christ on the cross. Therefore, we can understand 7:8 as Jesus saying that the church’s breath should have the scent of apples, or the words that the church speaks should have the aroma of Christ and be about him crucified.
Second Corinthians 2:14-15 says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance of life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
First Corinthians 1:22-23 says, “For the Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.”
First Corinthians 2:2 says, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Paul heard the word of Jesus that the scent of his breath should be like apples. And, Paul lived to make the desire of his Lord reality in his life.
Having been bid to have the scent of her breath in like apples, in 8:5 the woman, the church says that “under the apple tree I awakened you.” So, it is under the apple tree, under the cross, in the cross, that the church awakened Jesus.
Well, the Hebrew word used for awakened here can also mean raised. So, perhaps what she should understand is that the woman, the church raises Jesus up for the world to see when she is under the apple tree, under the cross. For, it is when her breath is scented with apples that she speaks of Christ crucified, that she lifts Jesus up, that a praise of her Lord is on her lips.
And, it is this lifting up of the Lord from under the cross that will draws people to Jesus.