I want to tell you that everywhere we visited in India, I kept thinking of scripture verses that seemed to spring to life right before my eyes! This was even more true than in Israel, I think, because life in some parts of India today has striking similarities to what I imagine life might have been like in ancient Israel 4,000 years ago! One of the common sights in India was vendors pushing carts loaded with lovely fresh fruits. (This was probably not so true in ancient Israel.) I don’t know how the vendors preserved their precious cargoes in the intense heat, but they were usually neatly stacked in orderly piles and looked very appealing. Because of G.I. issues (which were constant for many of us) and very different bacteria in India, we were advised to abstain from fresh fruits unless we could personally wash them in bottled water and peel them, but on a steamy, hot day the thought of a glass of fresh-squeezed juice was certainly tempting! It’s with that thought in mind that I offer this Sunday’s commentary on the Song of Solomon:
Song of Solomon 8:2 “I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.” As we’ve discovered from earlier studies, the pomegranate was considered the choicest fruit in Israel. It was also conjectured by some to picture a mind filled with true and beautiful thoughts of Christ, and if this interpretation is correct, it sheds a special radiance on the bride’s ardent declaration.
What is the bride wishing to do? She is wishing to influence her husband to enjoy the “spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.” What exactly is that? According to one commentator, a kind of sorbet made from the juice of the pomegranate was a popular drink in the East.* Probably the bride had some such delectable specialty in mind, perhaps even one that was made from an old family recipe, since she refers to it as specifically coming from her own pomegranate and in the context of her natal home.
What is our Lord trying to teach us from this tiny gleam of Scriptural revelation? What are we as wives to desire for our husbands? What are we as believers to desire for Christ? If the pomegranate of the “temple” (forehead) is a mind filled with lovely thoughts about our husband, then the spiced wine made from “the juice of my pomegranate” would seem to be an offering of rich, flowing thoughts made by meditating on the one we love…in this physical world, our husband, and in the spiritual world, our Lord.
It is the bride’s desire to invite her husband to become intoxicated with the overflow of her thoughts and emotions as she meditates on his uinque beauties. What offering can you bring to your husband (or wife!) as a result of mulling over all the positive memories you have stored in the files of your mind? What are your thoughts about Christ? Go beyond simply describing who your husband and the Lord are, but also share what have they done for you. If you are reading this with your mate, why not take a few minutes right now and share your thoughts together?
If you can’t right now, would you consider writing out your thoughts now or this week sometime? Will you take time…maybe even just a half an hour for each mini essay…and write one for your Lord and one for your mate? If you’re looking for a “new fruit” to bring on your next mini honeymoon…why not bring along your thoughts to share? They will be even more thrilling to him (or her) than spiced wine (and shouldn’t cause any G.I. distress)! 🙂
* G. Lloyd Carr, The Song of Solomon: An Introduction and Commentary (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984), 554.