As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. ~Song of Solomon 2:3-4
Today is a special day, Valentine’s Day. This day traces its roots back to Greek mythology and has been celebrated as a special day among husbands and wives. It is also my wife’s birthday! To celebrate a birthday and Valentine’s Day on the same day is very special and important. Our devotion this morning centers on a description that the Shunammite woman expressed towards Solomon. It is a love phrase that figuratively speaks to us about God’s love for us and our love for God. Three important words are essential to a love relationship. Those words are, “I love you!”
There is the CENTRALITY of love.
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.” There is no love that compares with God’s love for us. The complete essence of God is summed up in 1 John 4:16: God is love! Just as the Shunammite used the analogy of how the apple tree stands out among all the trees of an orchard, God’s love stands out as supreme and without comparison. The very heart of God for His creation is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” I John 4:10.
There is the SATISFACTION of love.
“I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” We first taste the love of God when we take the Lord Jesus as our Savior. We experience and grow in God’s love as we fellowship with Him and serve Him. One of the great lessons of the walk of faith is learning to let God love us! Sit under the shadow of His love with great delight! Tell Him, “I love you, Lord!” Experience the sweetness of His mercies, forgiveness, faithfulness, longsuffering, and grace. “His fruit was sweet to my taste.” Many times through the day, we must taste and see that the Lord is good! Nothing will satisfy us more than letting God love us and loving Him in return!
There is the CELEBRATION of love.
“He brought me to the banqueting house…” This literally means that He brings us to the place of great celebration. A banqueting house was where a feast was made and the best of the fruit of the vine would be served. There would be endless celebration. No one there was on a schedule. No one there was ever in a hurry. Everyone came there with the expectation of being filled with mirth and rejoicing. We are so busy and overwhelmed with our meaningless schedules that we really do not know how to celebrate God’s love in our life. We must make time to celebrate God’s love for us and in us! We must pull away from the distractions and weights that want to keep us from experiencing the love of God afresh in us.
There is the SUBSTANTIAL in love.
“His banner over me was love.” A banner is a flag. It is a national standard that proudly tells someone else of which country you are a citizen. God is not ashamed to call us His beloved and His children. God spreads a large banner over each of us that proudly and lovingly says, “I love you!” “There is no one I love more than you!” “You are my precious and most beloved.” I think of when after Jesus was baptized by John, how the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and God the Father spoke from Heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son.” God’s banner over us is the three simple words of, “I love you!”
Be sure to tell your spouse, “I love you” today! Be sure to tell your children, “I love you” today! But be sure to tell God over and over, “I love you” each and every day!
Have a love-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 7