We are likened to flowers in the garden of Christ — so varied and unique, some blossoming but for a small season, some like the morning glories that close up each night and open with the new day, and some dying in the bud of life, leaving an empty space that cannot be filled. Some flowers provide food, such as the sunflowers; some provide only beauty, like a rose — which makes the heart smile and the mind forget worldly cares for a moment — to thank the Lord for His everlasting goodness.
Solomon, in his Song of Solomon, addresses the flowers in his garden to signify a renewal of life (Song 2:12, KJV). David uses the flower to illustrate the brevity of our lives. Flowers are created for viewing, which is why the ornaments in the original Tabernacle were fashioned after flowers. “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.” (Psalm 103:15).
Isaiah uses the flower’s temporary nature for a comparison of God’s undying word. All men are appointed once to die, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8). As beautiful as flowers are, they, like us, are gone in a short time. With our limited time on this earth, let us make every effort to blossom for the Lord’s good pleasure — so that when God looks upon us, He sees His Son blooming in our lives for Him.
With such beauty, fragrant aroma, and native to the Biblical region, the rose is found only twice in Scripture. In the Song of Solomon, the allegorical Bride of Christ claims to be the Rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys; meaning that Christ plants, nourishes and tends to His church so that she will blossom as the beautiful rose and stand radiant through difficult worldly times as a lily among thorns. “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” (Song of Solomon 2:1). No other flowers have as many symbolic attributes as the rose and the lily. Songs have been written and sung about their beauty, daughters have been named after them, and poetry fills the earth with comparisons of their radiance.
The Lord’s blessings in the straight and narrow holy pathway passage in Isaiah 35:1-2 states that even, “The wilderness and solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God.”
Roses come in hundreds of sizes, colors, and varieties, and roses are given to the cherished of the heart as an outward statement of true love. Roses are also sent to funerals as an outward statement of the beauty the departed has left behind with their acts of love while living and to provide comfort for the living of seeing the loved-one again in Heaven one day.
Lilies are symbolic of the Christian heart. Their small base opens fully at the end of the long flower, which splits its fullness — demonstrating the overflowing cup of Christ’s love, spreading out in all directions. Jesus said, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:27-29).
Christ wanted us to marvel at their beauty and know His protection and provisions were clear every time we gazed upon them. Lilies were used as ornamental designs, chapiters in Solomon’s Palace, tops of pillars and to decorate the brim of his bath because of their beauty. In the Song of Solomon, the beauty of the bride is compared to lilies, just as the church (the Bride of Christ) is symbolic of the precious lily.
God uses the blossoms to show His favor. Our first Scriptural mention of blossoms comes in the butler’s dream, which Joseph interpreted. (Genesis 40:10). Then, we have the infamous rod of Aaron which blossomed and yielded almonds — proving God’s choice for the tribe of Levi to be His priests. (Numbers 17:5, 8). God promises through Isaiah that Israel will blossom and that even the wilderness will blossom for them. (Isa 27:6, 35:1-2). Habakkuk states that even if the fig trees do not blossom and the land is desolate, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18). Blossoms always indicate “new life” and God’s favor.
Few things are as delightful as the first blossoms of spring, which signify new life and new growth — especially after a long and desolate winter. As we watch children play, we give thanks for their blossoming enthusiasm in new adventures and sights. When we give our time and talents for the Lord’s glory, we too blossom with His blessings.
The saffron, mentioned only once in Scripture, is believed by scholars to be the crocus — a member of the Iris family and is found in the Song of Solomon 4:14, along with the other luxurious species and fragrances found in Solomon’s garden.
Young boys quickly learn that picking a few wild flowers for their mothers will bring exclamations of delight and meaningful hugs of gratitude. As they grow into manhood, this becomes a way of reaching out with their hearts as they send or take flowers to their beloved sweethearts. Flowers are used to express the greatest of rejoicing at births and weddings, as well as the deepest of sorrows in the passing of a loved one — So, too, is God’s gift to us in the form of flowers.
Jesus expressed adulation for the lilies of the valley, perhaps to remind us that God created a never-ending supply of plants, herbs and beautiful flowers in the very beginning. Included in the sight of the rainbow is the promise of the earth’s perpetuation of our crops by the Lord’s hand. As we bask in the gloriousness of a new spring, remember the Creator, thank Him and rest your cares upon Him.