Photo by: Sarah Stierch Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)
The Song of Solomon is a song of being in love. The man in the story represents God or Jesus. The woman represents those who believe in him. I think the main idea is that we should fall in love with Jesus, that we should be infatuated with him so that he is constantly in our thoughts.
The woman in love says, "Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste."
I've walked through many forests in Canada. If I had ever seen an apple tree, covered in apples, in the midst of a forest, I would have gasped. I would have felt happy and excited; I would have run up to it, picked an apple and sat down under its branches to eat, just like this woman says.
Trees of the forest are wild things. If you needed to eat in the forest you would have to know your mushrooms, roots and bugs. There isn't much edible there. These are not trees that give nourishment to humans.
But an apple tree? It is different than all the other trees in the forest. Just as Jesus is different than all the men in the world. He nourishes us and his fruit (love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness) is sweet to our taste.
What does Jesus say we are like? "Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens." Solomon 2:2
He sees us as a beautiful lily that is surrounded by thorns. I found this so interesting. Those who love God, or are wanting to love him, are in a world of strife, sin and chaos. We can be hurt by the thorns of those who don't know God. We are in a precarious state, but as Jesus said, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
An apple tree in a forest and a lily among thorns are things that stand out. They are beautiful; they are different; they are our God and they are us.