Fig Trees and God’s Sovereignty
The following was written in August 2007…
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
God is sovereign even if He does not give us money, food, cars, a spouse, etc. Though we toil through life and experience hardship along with providence, God is still our hope and strength, for who have we in Heaven but Him (Psalm 73:25)? We must throw ourselves on His mercy and expect the Almighty, the One with the highest wisdom to bring about His glory and the best things for us, regardless whether they make us sting or sing, or whether they bring pain or bring joy. Our reliance on God cannot and must not rely on His providing everything that we want, for if we ask God to provide for everything we want, we automatically assume that we know what is best, and that our finite knowledge and experience of a few decades is loftier than the wisdom of the Creator of both life and time.
Though the sweetness of this earth has evaded us (“the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines”), we must trust in the sweetness of God.
His Word is ‘like honey on our lips’ (to steal a line from a worship song), and His wisdom is like honey to our souls. Though the prosperity of life hides itself from us (the olive crop fails), and we yearn for food (both spiritually and physically), we must trust that God has a plan, a purpose, an awe-inspiring plot behind the scenes that we are only beginning to awaken to. As in the book of Job (1:16-17), though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, we must fall on our faces and worship God for who He is, whether that be with anointing oil running down our faces, or whether we sit with shaved head in the midst of ashes wearing torn clothes.
On a more personal note, we must be supremely satisfied to know the Bridegroom and to attend their wedding feast. Our joy must be found full and complete in hearing the Bridegroom’s voice (John 3:29-31), though there is no mention of our own bride on this planet. John 3:27 says that man cannot receive anything unless it’s been given him from heaven. This includes our measure of faith (Ephesians 2:8), the grace that comes from it, and any other Gift (1 Corinthians 12) or Fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) that we experience in our days under the sun. Marriage is a gift, a responsibility, a dedication, a commitment, and a wondrous delight, but it need not distract us from the surpassing greatness of God, His Son Jesus, or the pursuit of His glory on this earth at the behest of the Holy Spirit.
God is our strength. To deny such is to deny belief in Him at all, which is a dangerous proposition at the very least. To forsake the rod and staff of God, to deny the authority of His law is to throw off the wonderfully secure blanket, to shred His hedge of protection, and to dismantle His fortress of defense in our lives brick by brick. He makes our feet like the deer and allows us to walk in high places. He allows us to transcend this world’s thorns and thistles, to scale the heights as only those who are pure in heart can (Psalm 15). Therefore we submit to His authority, His will for our lives and put our concerns fully in His hands, casting our anxieties at His wonderful feet, and though we may cry tears of pain or joy, we are fully confident that they are falling on the feet of our Savior, our Protector, our Potter and Creator.