Sunday, June 17, 2012

The promise of future bounty

The summer has been gentle and the Lord has provides bounty from the earth. The summer garden crops are coming in and they are plenteous. The figs are coming in. The muscadine vine is full. It reminds me in particular of two verses in the bible. They are promises. That is what prophecies are, you know. Promises of things the Lord has in store for the people who love Him and for those who don't love Him.

"Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken." (Micah 4:4).

"In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.” (Zechariah 3:10)

In the bible, vines (usually grape) and fig trees were emblematic of agricultural abundance and that abundance bespoke wealth. Many fig trees meant prosperity. The promised land was described in Deut. 8:8 as "a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates."

It was not described as a land flat and therefore ripe for land prospecting development. It was not described as a land full of silver and gold mines. It was not described a land of great cities producing a rich population. The prosperity the land promised was riches from a bountiful earth. Remember that after the Fall, Adam was cursed with toil, and that the land would not yield unless he worked it with sweat and labor, and even then it would produce thorns and thistles.

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground," (Gen 3:17b-19b).

What was it like before the Fall? I can't wait to find out, and that is what these prophecies promise. That curse will be reversed and the land will pop with generous abundance. Remember the two spies who came back, in Numbers 13:23 reporting that they saw huge grapes and figs and pomegranates? Doesn't sitting under our own fig tree and our vine and sound relaxing? Refreshing? Cool? Like walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day.

And Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5). And look what Jesus did! He did everything!

He accomplished redemption for mankind, by breaking His own body and allowing it to be poured out! We are His branches, connected to the Great Gardener whose vine covers us, and which provides all sustenance. When you're out haying this summer, sweat running down your face, or you're out mowing this summer, and thirsting because of the heat, or you're gardening and battling the bugs who are killing your bean plants, remember, the prophecies.

"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." (Isaiah 32:18).

"I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside." (Isaiah 5:1).

How beautiful the relationship. We are the branches, closely grafted into the true vine. The true vine covers us, and we sit under it in peace and abundance. The abundance comes from the Vine Dresser who is the Father (John 15:1), who cares for the true vine in love and cares for his children, the branches.

 Our God is a tremendous God!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions: Preaching Christ from every text?, Muslim dreams, Female submission

Here are answers to some pressing questions I've seen asked over the last few weeks. Should we preach Christ from every text? Answer:...