Rose of Sharon
Song 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon,
And the lily of the valleys.
The beauty and majesty of the Lord is all around us, what a shame that only a relatively small number of people can see this stunning beauty. It can be seen in the towering trees and the flowing rivers, in the brilliant sun and the reflected glory of the moon, in the green grass and the blue sky, His Glory is spilling out all around us. All of His creation bares some mark of His image, these are not just accidental similarities, they were created for this purpose, heaven and earth are declaring the Glory of the Lord. Matthew Henry brings this out in his comments about the Lily of the Valley and the Rose of Sharon.
“He that is the Son of the Highest, the bright and morning star, calls and owns himself the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys, to express his presence with his people in this world, the easiness of their access to him, and the beauty and sweetness which they find in him, and to teach them to adorn themselves with him, as shepherds and shepherdesses, when they appeared gay, were decked with roses and lilies, garlands and chaplets of flowers. The rose, for beauty and fragrance, is the chief of flowers, and our Savior prefers the clothing of the lily before that of Solomon in all his glory. Christ is the rose of Sharon, where probably the best roses grew and in most plenty, the rose of the field, denoting that the gospel salvation is a common salvation; it lies open to all; whoever will may come and gather the rose-buds of privileges and comforts that grow in the covenant of grace. He is not a rose locked up in a garden, but all may come and receive benefit by him and comfort in him. He is a lily for whiteness, a lily of the valleys for sweetness, for those which we call so yield a strong perfume. He is a lily of the valleys, or low places, in his humiliation, exposed to injury. Humble souls see most beauty in him. Whatever he is to others, to those that are in the valleys he is a lily. He is the rose, the lily; there is none besides. Whatever excellence is in Christ, it is in him singularly and in the highest degree.”
Parris often speaks of an experience we had in Bulgaria in the Valley of the Roses. This place was a strange mix of human poverty and need and the incredible glory of the Lord. We were ministering at a gypsy village, it is one of the poorest areas in Europe. All around us was sickness, poverty, crime, and hopelessness. That’s when we smelled the incredible fragrance. It was the most beautiful smell of roses, it was everywhere. I don’t know why we hadn’t smelled it at first, but now it was everywhere. It was breathtaking, it was inescapable. This is the way our world is, surrounded by sickness, poverty, crime, and hopelessness; but to those that have been awakened, the unmistakeable fragrance of the Rose of Sharon.