The words to the song to the right were written in 1966 by Terry Kirkman, a member of the rock group The Association. Remember them? Probably not. I have been thinking of a lot of things and people this week that I cherish and hold dear. I thought of friends and family. I thought of old treasures from my childhood. I thought of priorities in my life. What is really relevant and important? How I am spending my time God has given me here? I thought of this old song. I thought about the word cherish. This is the definition of cherish given by Marion Webster.
1. to hold or treat as dear; feel love for
2. to care for tenderly; nurture
3. to cling fondly
I also found another meaning of the word cherish that I didn't recognize. Cherish means to warm. The International Bible Encyclopedia's explanation is as follows.
Cakhan, "to act the friend," "to be useful," is translated "cherish" (1 Kings 1:2,4); thalpo, "to warm," "to make warm,"
I read the scriptures in I Kings.
Kings 1:1-4 1 Now king David was old and stricken F1 in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
I researched this passage of scripture. According to most commentaries, David was about sixty-nine years old and the young virgin was indeed young, most likely only a teenager. In our modern day way of thinking this sounds kind of repulsive. Having a young girl come to lie with an older, sickly man to warm him is just not an acceptable practice even if the old sickly man is a great king. However in that day, long before our advanced medical technology which we are accustomed to, this was a common medical practice.
The expedient recommended by David's physicians was the regiment prescribed in that day, particularly among the Arab population, not simply to give heat, but "to cherish," as they are aware that the inhalation of young breath will give new life and vigor to the worn-out frame. The fact of the health of the young and healthier person being, as it were, stolen to support that of the more aged and sickly was well established among the medical faculty. And hence the prescription for the aged king was made in a hygienic point of view for the prolongation of his valuable life, and not merely for the comfort to be derived from the natural warmth imparted to his withered frame [PORTER, Tent and Khan].
So now you may ask how does a song from 1966 by a forgotten rock band about a young man cherishing someone so much that he wrote a song about them possibly relate to a story of King David being cherished by a young woman? I read the words to the song over and over. This young man loved someone so much, but he just couldn't possibly tell her because he knew he would only be rejected. He wished he could mold this person into the kind of person that would return his love and cherish him as much as he did her. However, he knew that would never be. He was very realistic, even though he did seem to be a dreamer. He knew he would perish never knowing what it would be like to have this person share his dreams and his life with him.
I thought of the young woman who went to King David. I think of her waiting on him and caring for him. I think she truly came to cherish him, not just warm him, but possibly truly loved him. She knew David was a king. She knew he was old and close to death. No matter how much she cherished him, she most likely realized some things simply would never be. She may have dreamed of molding him into the kind of person that would share her life with her, but even if she was a dreamer she was realistic and knew he would never actually share her dreams and the kind of life she wanted with him. She knew he would soon perish and the dreams of sharing her life with David would perish with him.
Now from romance to reality. God. He cherishes each one of us. He holds us. He cares for us tenderly. He nurtures us. He clings to us. He warms us. Do you think God longs to mold us into the people who will cherish Him as much as He does us? I think so. Do you think it saddens Him deeply to think of a single one of us perishing never knowing the joy of sharing our hopes, our dreams, our lives with Him? I think so.
Cherish should be the word we use to describe our feelings for God. The feelings shouldn't be hiding deep inside. We should each be willing to let God mold us into the people who will share our lives totally with Him. Think how much it saddens God to know that anyone perishes never knowing the joy of cherishing Him, sharing their life with Him eternally. Cherish is the word.