“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Beginning in verse 10a, we saw the Bride’s Beloved as her “Commander.” Then in verse 10b, we saw her Beloved’s “Command.” And now in verses 11-13, we see her Beloved’s “Consideration” as to the “Why” of his command to her.
First, the hindrances are gone: “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone” (verse 11). Here in verses 12-13, he continues with the second explanation as to why it is time to “Rise up… and come away.”
Now he says, “The flowers appear on the earth…”
Here the Beloved uses the physical event of springtime on the earth. He uses the appearance of the flowers, the singing of the birds, the voice of the turtle (dove), the fig tree putting forth its fruit, and the vines bringing forth the tender grapes with their good smell (or fragrance).
Springtime is the sign that winter is gone. It is a time of resurrection of life again on the earth; in contradiction to winter, when things die and wither away. It speaks of the wonderful Design of the Creator; that in death, there is life. In the winter season the plants die, the grass turns brown, the leaves fall off the trees, and the trees appear to be dead. The entire landscape of winter points to death, a ceasing of activity, in the plant world. The weather even shuts people up in their houses, because of the cold, the rain, etc.
But the springtime brings back the signs of life. It brings joy and hope of life again. Literally, it is a resurrection of life to the plant world, and the reproduction of animals, and the first signs of fruit once again.
The symbols are the flowers appearing, the birds singing, the signs of new fruit on the vine and branches. It is a time of good and fair weather, which is conducive to the plowing of the land, the planting of the seed in the ground, and the cultivation of the plant to bring forth the fruit of harvest time.
As a young lad, I learned a very valuable lesson following my dad in the springtime gardening process. It was time to plant butter beans. Dad was showing me how to plant the little beans, showing me the correct depth, etc.
I asked him a question, “Dad, how does the plant come about that we see later above the ground, and it bears the little beans, that you call butter beans?”
His reply was, “In death comes life and fruit and harvest.”
“What does that mean?” was my next question.
Then Dad took out his pocketknife and cut one of the bean seeds open. He said, “Look closely and tell me what you see.”
I looked, and to my amazement, I saw a little embryo plant inside the cut-open bean seed. Dad then explained that in every bean seed, there is life to come from the death of this bean seed. He said, we plant this bean seed and it dies in the earth. The new plant feeds off the old seed, and then sprouts when the soil temperature is right. The plant comes to the surface and then sends out roots into the soil for additional nutrients. The plant grows and blooms, and then the fruit appears on the little branches of the plant.
Then Dad, who was a Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, turned to me and quoted John 12:24:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Then he referenced this to Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection for us. I began to see what my dad preached in many of his Sunday morning sermons. That in Christ is Life, Eternal Life.
Then my dad began to teach me Romans 6:1-23. He taught me the must of Christ’s Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 and in Romans 1:4; as related to us being raised from being dead in trespasses and sins to walk in the newness of His Life; based on Him (Christ) being our Substitute, Sacrifice, and Savior. (See Hebrews 2:14; Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:14; etc.)
It was some years later that God brought me to rest in the finished work of Christ on the Cross as payment for my sin debt (Isaiah 53:1-12).
Ever since those first lessons of life in death, in that garden many years ago; and especially since I was made to know I have been raised in Christ; springtime has been a great and joyful time of year, for it is time of life and a time of joy.
Even when God has appointed a time of test and trial in my life, as Job said (Job 23:13-14), I know He is my Beloved. I know I am His Love, His Bride. So it encourages me to be still and wait on the passing of the winter and the rain; for I know His Command to rise up and come away is close.
The springtime reminds me of all the times Christ has commanded me to rise up and come away to His “Prepared Place” of His “Glory” and revelation of the same and of my Oneness with Him, as a joint-heir of Christ, as being “in Christ“; that is to His Place of sweet, sweet communion with Him.
Be still this spring and take note of the beauty and the fragrance of the flowers as they shine forth in all the glory of their Creator; of the beauty of the Resurrected Christ; and of you being a co-participant in His Resurrection to walk in the newness of Life, His Life (Romans 6:4).
Be still and take note of the joy in the songs of the birds as they look forward to their mating season and the bringing forth of new life. So should you see the Joy of the Resurrection in your new life; a new start; a new beginning.
Be still and take note when you hear the voice of the turtle (dove) as he calls to his mate; it is time, my love, my fair one, arise and come away with me. So do you hear the Command of God? It is time, My love, rise up and come away with Me.
Be still and take note when you see the fig tree putting on green figs and the vines putting on their tender grapes. Then you should look forward of the Fruit of the Spirit being manifested in your life.
Then you will hear your Beloved say, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Therefore, consider that all hindrances are gone and all the signs are here that it is time to rise and come away with your Beloved.