My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. ~Song of Solomon 1:14
I am not one particularly fond of deserts. Deserts are arid, hot, lacking in vegetation, and dangerous. Travelers through a desert are met with surprise when they come upon a large, flowing body of water surrounded by lush vegetation. We would call this an oasis in the desert. The phrase “a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi” encourages us that Jesus is an oasis when we have a desert experience in our life.
We see the romance.
We find that the verse in our devotion this morning is part of a romantic exchange between Solomon and the Shulamite woman. It is an encouraging and loving expression of what Solomon meant to her. It powerfully pictures for us the love and sentiment that we should have for our Lord Jesus Christ. When was the last time you told Jesus how much you loved Him? When was the last time you spent an entire devotion time to praise Jesus for Who He is and what He is doing in your life? When we cease to express our love, we show ingratitude and indifference about how much Jesus should mean to us.
We see the refreshment.
Engedi is on the western side of the Dead Sea. It is beautiful place of lush growth and fountains of water. It is surrounded by the desert. The clusters of camphire refer to the exotic, beautiful, and fragrant henna flowers that grow in that dry, tropical environment. Even today, people travel to Engedi to enjoy the beauty of the area. It is truly a place where the weary traveler can find rest, peace, and rejuvenation. Fellowship with our Lord Jesus is refreshment for the weary soul. We should not hesitate to come to the Lord when we are weary and heavy laden. He promises that we shall find rest for our souls. He tells us that we can cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us.
We see the resort.
The vineyards of Engedi are an oasis in the desert. This location beautifully pictures for us the ministry of our Lord Jesus in our lives. He is the Water of life for the thirsting soul. He is the Bread of life for the hungering soul. He is the spiritual resort we can come to at any season and all times of the year. He is a resort that accepts us as we are and replenishes us. Unlike a resort that we would go to for vacation, Jesus is the soul’s daily resort. What we need is a revival of coming to our Lord daily for the replenishment of our soul’s need.
We see the redemption.
The camphire of henna flower gives a reddish type of dye color that is used decoratively by women to color their toenails, fingernails, hair, men’s beards, or even the hair on horses’ tails. In Hebrew, the word for camphire is the same word used for "pitch," which is a reddish-colored material used in covering cracks and holes. It is the word from which we get atonement. What a beautiful picture of the sacrificial death of Christ and His shed blood on the cross for sinners. The description of "a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi" reminds us that we cannot get away from the fact that God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When we contemplate the sufferings of Jesus for us, there is a revving that God gives us in our souls. There is a renewal of His fragrance in our lives.
Truly, Jesus is an oasis for us when we come to the desert places of life. If you are depleted or weary, take time this morning to be refreshed in His presence.
Have a refreshed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Mark 8-9