#63 Women of the Bible Shulamite: a garden enclosed
“A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits, fragrant henna with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices— a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits.” (Song of Sol. 4:12-16 NKJV).
We have here the picture of a colourful, fragrant, self-contained, well-watered garden full of delicious fruits and spices that the bride invites the cool north wind and the warm south wind to blow on to release its scents. The king is then invited to come and enjoy his garden.
The followers of Jesus are at one with Him and dedicated to Him alone. The bride says the garden belongs to both him and to her (Song 4:16) because there is an absolute oneness between them.
And the fruits? These are none other than the fruits from the action of the Holy Spirit on the receptive heart: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Gal. 5:22 NKJV). The church allows the Holy Spirit to blow on them (John 3:8) to nurture them and cause them to be fruitful.
And the fragrant scents? “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life” (2 Cor. 2:14-16 MSG).
So what we have in the Song of Solomon is a picture of the saints of God walking about, diffusing the sweet fragrance of godliness everywhere they go. Imagine them as a picturesque garden after an energising shower of rain and the wind gently blowing on it with lovely scents wafting in the air, like waves of incense. There is a spring of the living water of the Holy Spirit refreshing the saints who are beckoning for their bridegroom to appear.
We are “his” garden because He purchased us with His own blood (I Cor. 6:20). He has made us beautiful. He planted us and watered us with the Holy Spirit. We can’t make ourselves any more beautiful than what He has made us.
So relax! He loves you and chose you and is beautifying you every single day. Just yield yourself solely to Him, His light, His refreshing breezes and life-giving water and soon our Bridegroom will appear.