“I went down into the nut tree grove, to see the green plants of the valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower.”
The woman now speaks and tells us her intention and actions. She goes down to the nut grove, because she presumes her beloved is there. Nuts were used to throw in wedding ceremonies and are indicative of rich food. They are the kernel of the fruit and rich in vitamins and energy. This is imagery of the fruitfulness hoped for in marriage.
She goes everywhere she think he might be so that she can meet with him. Even if it is unexpected, the meeting is sought, and the beloved is sought out. Such is her adoration for him, there are no other considerations, or thoughts of social decorum or what other people will think about her. This picture is being used to show her utter devotion to the beloved and her desire for him as a person. This is the attitude of the devoted believer in the Lord Jesus. They wish for rich fruit to be produced in their lives for His sake.
She goes to see the green plants in the valley, which is a verdant spot. It speaks of life and sustenance and the virulent growth of natural things. God gives life to all things, and they grow and cannot be stopped because God gives the increase. It is impossible to stop things growing and hard work to keep them under control! This valley is rich in all things that are required for growth – earth, warmth, light and water. it is the ideal growing place and the woman has planted her seeds and plants there. She is tend it them and checking that they are growing well.
The woman is going to see if the vine she has planted has budded and if the pomegranates she has tended are in flower, so that they will fruit later in the season. This is emotive and the imagery is used to reinforce the fruitfulness of this love relationship.
The vines are the groups of believers, or individual believers that are thriving in this valley. The valley is watered by the power of the Spirit and the churches and Christians are upheld by the work of the Spirit of God in lives.
The pomegranate has beautiful flowers at first, the first signs of life, and the delight of the Saviour Jesus, as He watches the young believers in Him. The flower precede the fruit and when the fruit is ripe, the fruit bursts to reveal the luscious seeds inside, good for eating and rich in nutrients. These are good for human consumption and for our delight also. This points to the rich fruitfulness in the life of the mature believer, and the bounty that God expects from His people.
These analogies point to the fruitfulness expected in marriage and are the forerunner of the woman’s expectation as she think of life with her beloved man. People wish the married couple well and wish them happiness, enjoyment, peace, joy, and children. This is the desire of this woman also, and the beautiful scene of her tending this luscious garden, is highly emotive and indicative of the passion she bears towards her beloved one, and the expectations of what is ahead.
It is easy to translate this into the life of the believer, and see the desires for the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the peace and joy we desire in our lives. We also desire eternal fruit for God, the fruit of souls brought to faith because of our care and attention to them, and the Cristian witness of our lives and words. The longing is always directed toward the Beloved. He is the centre and sun in the life of the Christian and in the life of the church. No other takes His place, and our business and work should never take away from our devotion to Him only. He takes centre stage in our lives and we obey His voice when He speaks to us.
Our lives should be fruitful gardens and we attend to them with care and attention. We are guided by the Word of Scripture and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and live godly lives, quietly and with great energy for the purposes that God requires of us. Our Iives should be beautiful for Him, and He will walk in His gardens with great joy and great satisfaction.