Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.
His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
– Song of Songs 2:3-7
I looked out our back door the other day and there were three deer in the neighbor’s yard. We live ‘in town’. Why would they come this far into town? Then, I realized what they were eating.
When the weather cooled off enough for the home-health physical therapists to take my wife for a walk, we walked the back yard and the alley (to the right in the photo, too steep a slope to the left). We noticed the tree covered in apples, but the birds had pecked each apple. They were all ruined and starting to rot.
I guess fermenting apples is a scent that carries in the wind. It did not matter that the deer had to travel a quarter mile or further from the nearest overgrown forest area. They were all over those apples.
Funny, I have been referred to as a rotten apple. The deer did not come running in my direction. No, to get that moniker, I had done something wrong, and others were letting me know about it.
And that is funny too. Okay, sad actually. The people that seem to oversee the politically correct lexicon of ‘bad’ words and phrases have no problem calling you names when you use an improper word. But the lexicon changes daily. I find it too hard to keep up. But let’s see, I cannot call you a bad name, but the politically correct police can call me bad names in reply. Okay, got it. Now let’s get back to rotten apples.
The apple tree sat in the back yard of a duplex. The owner did not pick apples from the tree. The tenants did not pick apples from the tree. Both had been there within a few feet of the tree while the apples were ripe. No, the apples were neglected. But God saw fit to blow the wind in the direction of the deer so that the fruit would not be wasted. The deer loved the apples.
In the Scripture above, Solomon’s Song of Songs is a love story. If your imagination goes crazy, it might get a more mature rating, but the two lovers discuss their love for one another. Is our love for Jesus as passionate as what Solomon describes? The woman describes the love of her life as an apple tree. The apple tree produces shade. Apple trees produce good, sweet fruit. But the last line of the Scripture above is what happened the other day: “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
I suppose the three female deer, the does (yes, the plural of female deer is does), were aroused and desired rotten apples.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.