#56 Women of the Bible: Shulamite and the song of heaven
The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said that when the Christian is closest to heaven, it is the book, Song of Solomon, that he takes with him and it is the only book from earth that he’ll be able to sing in heaven.
This sublime book provides us some unique glimpses of heaven that are not found anywhere else in the Bible, although, once you see it, you’ll see this vision of heaven before us in Eden, with Jesus before His crucifixion and surrounding the temple of Revelation.
What I'm talking about, in short, is that heaven is a breath-taking garden, like no other. “My beloved has gone to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed his flock in the gardens, and to gather lilies” (Song 6:2). Heaven's garden has a beautiful perfume, it is colourful and there are birds and animals. It is verdant with fruit trees that can be freely sampled and enjoyed.
Honeycomb can be delighted in and wine can be drunk: “I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. (5:1).
There are seasons in heaven. “My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away! (2:10-13).
This garden awaiting us after death was referred to when Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross. Jesus told the thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43). That word for ‘paradise’ is parádeisos which is an ancient Persian word meaning "enclosure, garden, or park." We are assured in those same words, that we will be living in the garden of God after we leave our mortal bodies.
Interestingly, when we get to Revelation we find that the tree of life, that was in Eden at the beginning of the Bible, is in the Paradise of God in heaven: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Rev 2:7).
So the garden of God has come full circle. God planned in Eden for us to live eternally with Him in heaven and now, because of Jesus, we have the full assurance that our future will be in that beautiful heavenly garden, experiencing what “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9).
All citations from NKJV