"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1 (KJV)
The Rose of Sharon and Lily of the Valley. I tried to split the two, but all my research builds them together, so here goes. While I always consult God on my blogs, this one had me digging deeper in my spirit for guidance and understanding.
Rose of Sharon. Sharon is described as a plain in the coastal area near Joppa, in an area called Lod in the Old Testament (I Chronicles 8:12). This fertile area is known for its flowers. The "rose" is a combination of flowers of white, red, pink, and purplish flowers, whose identity is truly unknown. I've read articles of differing opinions on what this flower truly is - a tulip, a crocus-like flower, a rose, etc. I truly believe that God did this on purpose. We look to God, depending on where we are in relationship with Him, we will identify Him that way - Father, Creator, Healer, Savior, etc. Not being able to give one name or identity to this plant should help us understand that when we are in relationship with God, we cannot give only one identity to Him. He is more than just Father, Creator, Healer, Savior. He is everything. Being that this plant grew in a fertile area, who is to say that there was not a cross-pollination of plants? Thereby, you may have seen the tulip while I saw the rose. Same with God. You may see the Healer while I see the Creator.
Lily of the Valley. Like the Rose of Sharon, there is a question as to the exact nature of this plant. No matter how it is described in its essence, the flower was a beautiful and wonderous smelling plant. Let's look at the words - Lily and valleys. Lily in modern times is a beautiful flower with an enchanting scent. The flower was used by women to adorn their hair. I am reminded of the Easter Lily that represents rebirth and hope. The flower is said to be grown from ugly bulbs growing underground and spring up through the earth as this beautiful and well-loved flower. Does this sound like the Resurrection to you? A valley is a low place between two high places. If we can find the beauty of God in our lowest place, we can find the lily of the valley. God often uses symbolism to remind us of whom He is. We often look for Him in the wind (I Kings 19:11) but we forget that where we expect Him to be is not always where He is. God is often in the unexpected places - the valley - the low place. His beauty and majesty are still with us even when we think that we are forgotten.
Theologians can and will debate for years on the exact types of flowers meant in this scripture. Here is what I know - the debate is meaningless. It's not about the type of flower in the specifics. The focus must be on the scriptural interpretation. Then maybe that's what God wants - to shake the wheat from the tare. When we lose focus on what God is saying, when we get so caught up in trying to be the first to understand His meaning through scholastics, then we lose focus on Him, on communication with Him. The best way to interpret the scripture is to - ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7:7-8).
I am reminded as I write this that that is the best way to live also. Please don't misunderstand as I don't seek to discredit Pastors, Apostles, and those God sends to us. For His word tells us that He gave some Apostles, some prophets some evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers (Ephesians 4:11-16). He also told us to study to show ourselves approved (II Timothy 2:15). Can we imagine how in tune with God we would be if we were to study the Word (not read, study) before going to church, bible study, Sunday School? I believe our eyes and ears would be open to the spiritual side where God wants to tell and show us so much. Yet, we lean on the anointing of the Pastor, Bishop, Apostle, etc. to get our understanding of the Word. They aren't there to take the place of God. They are there to help us see what God is saying and be the bridge for us on this earthly realm.
I implore you to take the time and find our who God is to you. Not to your parents, spouse, children, friends, Pastor, etc. But establish your relationship with God through Jesus Christ so that you can stand on a firm, unwavering, loving foundation that will be your covenant relationship with God.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed