I have only been to the Chicago Botanical Gardens one time. I fell in love with the place. If I could have afforded it, I would have been married there. My most favorite section is the English Garden (surprise, surprise). Fragrant roses and cottage florals, English ivy creeping up stone walls, ornate urns spilling tendrils from its contents. I want to go back. I want to build a cozy little home right in the midst.
Solomon was the richest man in the world at that time and probably at any time. He spent 13 years building his palace, and it was luxurious. He spent 7 years building God's temple and it was grand. I would have thrilled to see his gardens. Can you even imagine? He probably had every species of tree, bush and flower. He would have had the best gardeners. The walks through the gardens would have been highly impressive. Fountains, bird sanctuaries, orchards, trellises, butterfly gardens. It would have surpassed any botanical garden today. He would have had only the best. I imagine they were extensive as well. If he spent 13 years on his house, the grounds would have to match the lushness of his dwelling.
|An Apple Tree in Blossom--Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book One|
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The Standard Publishing Company, 1925
In the last few verses, he compares his new bride with a private garden. She is a pomegranate orchard, a spice grove. He compares her to spikenard, saffron, cinnamon, aloe. He mentions calamus, frankincense, and myrrh. Many of these were used in oils and perfumes. He believes her to be the choicest garden when he probably already has all these in his own garden already. Yet, in her, he finds them special. She is unique. She is his choice. How God loves us like that! What does God not have? He created this world. He built every mountain. He owns every hill. Like Solomon, he planted each garden. He knows exactly what he planted in every plot. Yet, he sees me, and I am unique. I am unlike any other garden. My spices, my fruit are appealing to Him.
I want to always be pleasing to my Lord. I want to keep my garden attractive to Him. He should always have access to my life. Nothing should be off limits. Any fruit, any spice should be available to Him. He lives in me already, He has built a home in my midst. Does He always want to stay?