Rose of Sharon

“Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart; Beauties of thy truth and holiness impart. That where’er I go my life may shed abroad fragrance of the knowledge of the love of God.” I sang this song growing up. I always loved roses and so it seemed to have special meaning to me. The idea of the song came from Song of Solomon(SOS) 2:1. Many people believe that this verse is a reference to Jesus. Good exegesis suggests that it doesn’t but the sentiment is still pleasant.

Just a few facts to help us appreciate the image in SOS 2:1. The Hebrew word for Sharon means a plain, that is a level place. The Plain of Sharon is located between the central mountains of Israel and the Mediterranean.  It is mentioned in Acts 9:35 along with another city on the plain, Lydda. This entire area is very fertile and has always been the site of multiple flowers.

The Rose of Sharon mentioned in SOS was a crocus-like flower rather than a mallow like our popular tree shrub of the same name. That ancient Rose of Sharon was known as a source of saffron. This would mean that the rose in SOS was most likely in the crocus or tulip family rather than the hibiscus.

We have seven Rose of Sharon plants in our yard. We really enjoy them and they put on quite a show. I intend to ignore the research and believe with the ancients that the plant in my back yard is SOS’s Rose of Sharon. That way, when I look at the beautiful blooms I can have one more reminder of Jesus’s ever presence in my life. I want him to bloom in my heart and let my life shed the knowledge of the love of God.

I just think I’ll keep on thinking of Jesus as the Rose of Sharon and the Lilly of the Valley. His inward beauty shines like the Althea shrub’s blooms and the fragrance of his love will match any Lilly. I hope today he is blooming within your heart.

Take a minute and sing a verse or two of “Jesus, Rose of Sharon.”

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