Prayer of Habakkuk
Let us become like Habakkuk, an “Embracer of Burdens” – for right in the very middle of the most testing time when it seemed totally lost – in faith, Habakkuk sang his amazing sacrifice of praise: although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls..
When Adam forfeited his God-given dominion, God set a guard over the tree of life. God set a guard over the tree of life until man could resume his role as king – until His Man (the Man Christ Jesus) would govern the earth through God’s heavenly sovereignty.
Universally there is religion; depraved and very low in many places, but universally there is the consciousness of standing in relationship to some supreme object of worship, demanding worship; and then men's minds or imaginations get to work to give some kind of expression to that consciousness, of that supreme object of worship, and the imagination produces that something out of a tree, a stone, or in the heavenly bodies; somehow it is expressed, but it is the thing that is there, behind all the forms of expression which is universal.
The vine was going to throw its life away because it couldn’t stand erect and have as fine fruit as the peach tree.
You do not seem to be the least disheartened.” “No, I am not of much account, but I thought that if you wanted an oak, or a pine, or a peach tree, or a lilac, you would have planted one; but I knew you wanted a heart’s-ease, andI am determined to be the best little heart’s-ease that I can be.”
terrified creatures. The eyes of both were opened, but what a ghastly sight they discovered, for they found they were naked: wretched; miserable; poor; blind and naked. Yes, they knew they were naked – sad fruit of the tree of knowledge.
Heaven is open to all who believe that Christ paid the full price for their sins. Salvation is the gift of God to all that believe in the name of His only begotten Son. Forgiveness is the precious fruit on the tree of life to all that accept His forgiveness.
Cascade of Creation
And then a wonderful cascade of creation began to flood into being, over 6 days, The firmament was made : waters divided : sea was formed : dry land appeared. Vegetation overflowed : herbs and trees : fruit and seed and all manner of food. A beautiful, colorful, glorious picture was being painted by the Master.. sculptured, by the Master-Craftsman.
Picture of Redemption
And then comes into view the river of life – living water to nourish all He made. And then we see the tree of life – that will feed the saints and heal the nations. And then we see the tree of knowledge..
Is He not the tree of life and has He not the power of life and death?
Embracer of Burdens
Let us embrace in the Spirit, the burden of our Lord for His despairing people, and become like Habakkuk, an “Embracer of Burdens” For you see, right in the very middle of the most testing time when all seemed totally lost, in faith, Habakkuk sang his amazing sacrifice of praise: although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines – the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat.
Luke’s family tree, was for gentile readers, starting with Adam as federal head of the human race and tracing Christ’s parentage to Heli, father of Mary – not of Joseph. The antecedents in Luke’s gospel was still of David’s royal line but through Nathan, his son – and travelled down through a second kingly line to Mary the mother of Jesus. Hundreds of prophecies were fulfilled to the letter in Jesus, Who is called – Messiah.
Lamb of God
He was betrayed by one of His closest friends, and was sold for 30 pieces of silver. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and was identified as the chosen Lamb of God. He hung on a tree with His hands and feet pierced, and He cried, “It is finished”. His garments were divided among the soldiers and they cast lots for His clothes.
Love of God
What manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that He should shower on sinful man the grace and favour that we do not deserve and cannot earn- but in His perfect life the Incarnate Word of God, in His sinless body on the tree, met all the righteous requirements of the Law – to free us from condemnation so that we might have LIFE. The law indeed was given to Israel through Moses, but the unfailing love of God and His everlasting and faithfulness - is only seen in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Habakkuk last words in His revolutionary, faith-focussed book were: Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines; even if the olive harvest fails, and the fields produce nothing edible; even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold, and there is no herd in the stall – as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord.
Christ patiently started to open the eyes of this blind leader of the blind, who himself must come to terms with the truth that the penalty of the Law for ALL – is death. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness – Jesus too must be nailed to the tree so that all who look to Him in faith, will be saved.
Heb.10:39 “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ”, Titus 3:13 Jesus questioned: “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. Jesus also said: “But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail and when you have returned to Me.. strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the Desire comes, it is a tree of life”.
A Grain of Wheat
Everything needed for a mighty oak tree to grow is embodied within a tiny acorn. All a full ear of corn needs to mature – is contained within one tiny grain of wheat. Both acorn and a grain of corn enfolds within itself that tiny new organism.
Blessings of God
The blessed one is he that faithfully remains in the place where God has placed him, “for he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water” Jeremiah 17:7 That man shall be a fruitful vine; a strong cedar; a blessed man indeed, for blessings of God are not the sort of baubles sought after by the world – fame and fortune; power and prestige; wealth and worldly wisdom.
Though the tree may only appear to have leaves, buds, blossoms..
in time, and in God’s time that tree will bring forth 20-fold, 50-fold, 100-fold: “if you remain in Me and I in you” John 15:7
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,That brings forth fruit in its season,Whose leaf also shall not wither;And whatever he does shall prosper.
“When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” John 1:48
We imagine we would be all right if a big crisis arose; but the big crisis will only reveal the stuff we are made of, it will not put anything into us.
The time comes when there is no more fig-tree life possible, when it is out into the open, out into the glare and into the work, and you will find yourself of no value there if you have not been worshipping as occasion serves you in your home.
The eyes of both were indeed opened – but what a ghastly sight they discovered, for they found they were: wretched and miserable – poor and blind and naked. Yes, they knew they were naked – sad fruit of the tree of knowledge.
The Lord does not put us in glass houses to grow us, to be His trees; the Lord does not protect us from the storms, the adversities; He exposes us to the bitter winds and scorching suns of adversity and trial.
The Earthly Kingdom
As a nation they were in bondage to Rome and they delighted in the idea that their Messiah had at last arrived to remove the oppression under while they had to live. They were waiting for the time when the earth would be filled with the glory of God. They were longing for the day when every man would sit under his own fig-tree as promised in the scriptures.
You are to be fashioned into a fair and sturdy pillar, in the temple of eternity, but first, you are selected, felled, hewn, shaped, fashioned and whittled.. Sculpted from a mighty, gnarled cedar. A tall cedar tree, grown in the windswept plains of Lebanon. A noble cedar - the pride of the timberland. A regal cedar, that wrestled with the north wind blasts..
Parable of a Believer
You are that majestic cedar. You are that tree of mighty proportions. You are the one that stands so tall and proud against life's horizon..
doomed to succumb to the cutting flint of the great Woodman's sharp axe. Gashed and gnarled and stripped of branch and limb and bark. An impassioned cry rises against the felling of this mighty tree. A cry that joins the prophets great lament: Howl fir tree - for the mighty cedar has fallen. Howl, ye oaks of Bashan - for the forest of the vintage is come down. Zech 11:2
Perfected Thru Suffering
But wait and watch and follow the ensuing journey of this humiliated tree..
manhandled to the gate of God's own temple. The humbled tree..
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.Proverbs 3:12
To he that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.Revelation 2:7
Though the fig tree shall not blossom,neither shall fruit be on the vines,the labor of the olive shall fail,and the fields shall yield no meat..the flock shall be cut off from the fold,and there shall be no herd in the stalls….
Testings in Hope
This is the point where hope is deferred. This is the state where hope is put through the testing mangle. This is the place where greatest patience and trusting hope must be exhibited… where Love and Faith support the weary arms of Hope.. just as Joshua and Hur held up the weary arms of Moses, until the precious desire blossoms forth as a Tree of Life..
for Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh it IS a Tree of Life..
Rewards of Hope
For hope deferred maketh the heart sick – but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. How glorious that little word BUT.
endured the cross, despising the shame – so that we may eat of that Tree of Life: for to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life.
when the desired hope at long last appears remember it is a Tree of Life. Blessed are they that do His commandments, for they have the right to eat of the Tree of Life.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Unique Codes of Conduct
Those living in Eden also had laws for living specific to that era:- be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, tend the garden and don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – but man failed.
Die to Self
Turn away from your foolish boasting and dismount your elevated self-image, and put on Christ and Christ alone – nailing Self to the blood-stained tree. For no man has known God at any time..
Illustration of Forgiveness
There are some fragrant trees that bathe a sweet perfume… on the very axe that strikes them, and we too should show only sweet tender forgiving love, to those that hurt or harm us – to those that grieve or pain us. Father forgive them – for they don’t know what they are doing.
Christ did all this so that His Body might eat of the sweet fruit of the Tree of Life. Christ desires to be with His Church, and the prayer He prays to the Father about us, passes all understanding:- In John 17 we read this: All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine, and glory has come to Me, through them. This love is so amazing, so divine, it demands our soul, our heart, our life, our all.
These Tree Men
These three men questioned the Lord – but none were given the answer. These three men practiced ‘blind faith.’ These three men were rejected by the world, by friends, by the religious man. These three men were seen battling in the spiritual realms. These three men ‘found grace in the eyes of the Lord..’ These three men were trusted to stand fast for the Lord at any cost. These three men were ‘beloved of the Lord.’ And why..?
In Eden they were to be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, tend the garden and not eat of a certain tree, while the fathers and patriarchs like Job, Noah and Abraham showed evidence of obeying God and trusting His word.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
“This Blessed Hope” is in a Person – the One upon Whom all hope rests… “…the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour – Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13 “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when He comes.” Luke 24:43 “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” Rev.19:9 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” Rev 22:14
The eternal separation we all deserve was paid for by Christ in His body on the tree, so that we might be eternally united with the Father and live righteously, so that we might be clothed in Christ’s righteousness and live spiritually - walking in spirit and truth as we abide in Christ.
God in His grace reached out His arm of peace to man, through the gift of His only begotten Son, so that through the shedding of His blood on Calvary's tree, Christ would take all the punishment for sin we deserve.
The eternal and holy Son of God became the pure and perfect Son of Man Who after a life of humiliation and sorrow, where He was despised and rejected of men, was slaughtered on a cursed tree, with His final words pleading, Father forgive, and all fallen man has to do is to say - I believe, with a heart that has turned from sin.
And so in a chapter that pronounces the destruction of Israel's wealth, the loss of their inheritance, enslavement to their enemies and a curse on the man who places his trust in the flesh, Jeremiah also gives wonderful reassurance, to the faithful remnant, who place their trust in the Lord - blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, is Jeremiah's declaration from the almighty God, for he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream, and doesn't fear when the heat comes.
And He rejoices over the one that seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, with meekness of heart and a gentle spirit, for that man or woman will be like a flourishing tree planted by the river of life, whom the Lord will lead along a good and level pathway.
The One Who fashioned furniture in the humble carpenter's shop was the eternally existent One, Who flung stars into space - and Who formed, fashioned and filled the empty void with a carpet of living plants, fruit, flowers and trees - and then God made man in His own image.
And although the gifts and calling are without repentance and the lost sheep of the house of Israel will one day be settled in the earthly Jerusalem, enjoying the fruit of the land, His heavenly flock will reside in the heavenly kingdom, eating of the fruit of the tree of life.
The imputing of Christ's righteousness on sinful man is the result of the incomparable mission of the Redeemer, Who through His saving blood, which was shed on a wooden tree, lifted those who believe on His name out of the miry clay and into the heights of God's holy place - those of us who were spiritually dead and eternally separated from our heavenly Creator have been quickened from the dead - and made alive in Christ, by grace through faith.
Each plant and shrub and tree and flower was given the inner seed of life to reproduce after its own kind, in preparation for that day when God would give every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it - as food for mankind.
And in that day Israel will greatly rejoice in the Lord – proclaiming: He has cleansed us of our sin, covered us in a robe of righteousness for His names sake and turned our desert into a garden - where every man will sit under His fig tree and the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
Everything God created was very good, and I am sure that the tree of knowledge produced delicious food, and was a delight to behold.
You are free to eat from ANY tree of the garden, Adam was told, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.
Adam was made with a 'mind' to think and a 'free-will' with which to make choices - but he was also given one command to follow, to test his fidelity - do not eat from the tree of the knowledge. Would Adam choose to obey the Word of God or not?
Eve did nothing sinful by looking at the tree with its delicious fruit hanging on its branches.
The garden of Eden contained numerous trees, dripping with tasty fruit for both her and her husband to eat, but the cunning enemy came and cast doubt on the veracity of God's word and the goodness of His character, by asking a loaded and suggestive question, Did God really say, 'You can't eat from ANY tree in the garden'?
God only told us we are free to eat of any tree, except this one tree and because I love Him I will obey His Word. However, she was beguiled by Satan's twisted teaching, that the tree was desirable to make her wise. She doubted God's Word by believing the satanic lie - that she would not die. The woman was seduced by the enemy.
It was only after she had eaten of the tree of knowledge that she found herself spiritually separated from God and dead in trespasses and sin.
Looking at the tree and even touching it was not a sin but disobeying God's command not to eat was the sin.
Many of Christ’s parables painted a picture Israel’s disobedience; their hardness of heart and the rejection of their Messiah. To those who believed in Him the picture of the fruitless fig tree is obvious but to the unbelieving heart it appears obscure and puzzling.
The fig tree is easily identified as Israel who was planted in their land by God - the vineyard owner. Jesus is characterised as the vine-dresser who sought in vain for fruit, during the three years of His earthly ministry, but found none.
Although God ordered Him to cut down the unproductive tree, Jesus interceded on Israel's behalf, and one more year was granted for Him to try to get the tree to bear fruit - to get the nation to bring forth the fruit of righteousness.
The parable of the fruitless fig tree was a vivid picture of apostate Israel, who refused to repent of their sin.
It was about six months before His crucifixion, that Jesus told the parable of the fig tree, which should not be confused with the real fig tree He cursed, in Jerusalem, only days before His death - although one can see some connection.
Was the parable no more than another call for Israel to repent of their sin, rather than an indication that the fig tree would be cut down in twelve month's time and the day of God's judgement be poured out on His sinful nation?
He has promised that all who die in the Lord shall never die but have the light of life – a time when we shall ever be with the Lord.The first-fruit of a tree is the precursor that more fruit will follow.
They forgot His promise to protect them from their enemies; send rains in its season; provide plenteous crops; cover the trees with fruit and grant peace in the land - IF they kept His sabbaths... IF they reverenced His Sanctuary. Because of their neglect they reaped scarcity; drought and hunger.
Jotham courageously challenged the leaders of Shechem to examine their actions and motive in supporting Abimelech's grab for power by telling them 'a parable of the trees' - All the trees of the forest set out to anoint a king over them.
Different trees, like the Olive tree, the Fig tree and the Grapevine were asked to become 'king of the Trees' - but these worthy trees declined the request.
Finally, the trees asked the thorny Bramble bush to reign over them. 'If you really are anointing me as king over you', the Bramble bush said, 'come and find refuge in my shade.
But if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon'. Just as a scrubby bramble bush provides no shelter for tall cedar trees, so Abimelech was no protection for the citizens of Shechem, but they crowned him king, nonetheless.
It was by the sin of the first Adam that paradise was lost and the way to the tree of life barred and guarded by mighty angels with flashing swords, and it was by the sacrifice of the second Adam that paradise was regained and the way to the tree of life was once again flung wide open, to whosoever will believe.
The door to paradise was unbarred and the gates of heaven were thrown wide open to this repentant sinner who hung next to our Lord, for he gained the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God, simply because he trusted on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin – for as it is written all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved – for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosever believes on HIM will not perish but have everlasting life.
He was so viciously beaten as to be unrecognisable and then He was cruelly nailed to the tree with your sins and my sins laid upon Him. The world did not know Him then, and the world still does not know that He is God incarnate and He is the only way to the Father, the only truth about God in Whom is life eternal for all who trust in Him.
However, the welcome He received from the majority was superficial; selfish; puffed-up and proud, and so He used the parable of an unfruitful fig tree to illustrate the serious sickness that had consumed the nation and produced barrenness in their soul - A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard.
The fig tree represented Israel and identified God as the man who planted the tree.
Jesus was identified as the hard-working husbandman, Who tended the fig tree for the three years of His earthly ministry - giving it sufficient time to produce good fruit.
The barren fig tree represented the generation of Jews who rejected their Messiah and refused to produce the fruit of righteousness, which is grown from a repentant heart that mourns over their sin.
Though He laid aside His glory for about thirty-tree years, He remained fully God with undiminished Deity - for He is the eternal, omniscient, almighty Creator - Who became perfect humanity, and dwelt among us.
We rejoice that Satan, sin, death, hell and all that is evil is thrown into the lake of fire and we stand in awe of the coming of the King of kings with His armies of heaven; the unimaginable beauty of the New Jerusalem; the sparkling river of the water of Life – as clear as crystal and the return to earth of the Tree of Life, with its 12 luscious fruit – which has been guarded by cherubim since sin entered the world – lest fallen man should eat of its fruit and live eternally in a fallen body.
We hear the final invitation of the Spirit and the Bride (which is the Church) – calling whosever will to come and drink and THEN we then read that final, sombre warning, if anyone adds to Words of this Book, God will add to him the terrible plagues which are written in God’s Word, and that God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book
for if anyone adds to the words of this prophecy, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book… and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
Blessed is the man that puts his trust in the Lord, for he will be like a well-watered tree, who is refreshed and rejuvenated in the streams of living water, refreshment that only flow from our faithful God.
Only the one that rests in the Lord, trusts their lives into His hands, gaining their hope and strength from Him and placing their trust in God alone is able to be like a well-watered tree - that received hope and strength from our Father in heaven.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of living water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— and whatever they do prospers
Blessed is the one whose confident hope is in the Lord, for he will be like a tree planted by the rivers of living water - that extends its roots into His life-giving streams.
Those that search the scriptures daily are not only wise, but truly blessed of the Lord - for blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord and meditates therein day and night. He will be like a tree securely planted by streams of life-giving water, which yields much fruit in its season, to the glory of God.
Jesus is looking forward to the time when deaf ears will hear their Messiah's call; respond to His words; proclaim the gospel of the kingdom throughout the world and become a fruitful fig tree - that brings forth the fruit of righteousness.
When the Lord Jesus corrects us, He does not leave us comfortless, and goes on to promises: to the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.
What a great privilege to know that the Tree of Life, from which man was barred due to sin, is once again freely accessible to those that live godly in Christ Jesus.
and to know that we have a citizenship in heaven, an eternal inheritance that will not fade away - and the right to each of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God - all because we trusted Christ for salvation.
The first parable was of a tiny mustard seed, which grew into an abnormally large tree.
Despite the mustard seed of early Christianity morphing into the worldwide tree of Compromises and Corruption - let us not be discouraged, for JESUS said I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.
May we be like the tree in Psalm 1 that is planted; grows; prospers and produces the precious fruit of righteousness... receiving God's never-failing supply of nourishment and limitless refreshment from His streams of living water.
It is fed by a covetous heart that lusts after the thing we see and desire, and reminds us of the tree in the garden of paradise.
For it was as Eve looked and saw that the tree was good for food that sin was conceived in her heart and her flesh began to lust after the forbidden fruit and she disobeyed the Lord's command - and reached out, took and ATE.
She lusted after the tree because it was 'able to make her wise'.
We read that the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom.
Let us honour the One Who was despised of men, rejected by His people and nailed to a cruel tree, so that whosoever will believe on His name would be forever set free from the wages of death, which we all so justly deserve.
But herbs and grass; fruit and trees; birds of the air, fish of the sea and every living creature soon filled the earth and were instructed to be fruitful and multiply - together with man, who was built from the dust of the earth in the image and likeness of God - Who breathed His own life into the heart of man.
Who could have guessed this infant had a world mission and a universal message that would require that He be despised and rejected of men and that His sinless blood would be shed on Calvary's tree, so that every stained sinner that believes on Him would not perish, but have the power to become sons of God, even to them that believed on His name.
All will be ushered into the wonderful 1000-year reign of Christ, when the lion will lie down with the lamb and the earth will be filled with the glory of God - and on that day, the Lord will ratify His covenant with His earthly people, Israel - when He will write His Law upon their hearts and ever man will sit under his own fig tree - and Jesus will be King over all the earth.
But Christ also offered up His body on the Tree as a free-will offering - a burnt offering for His people - so that through Him the Church, which is His body, might be sanctified and made holy - just as Christ is holy.
In Proverbs we are told that: the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise. Paul outlines the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 and reminds us in Ephesians that the fruit of the spirit is, in all goodness, righteousness, and truth - and we are called to go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain.
He likened the invisible, unpredictable movement of the wind, which can only be observed by the swishing of grass, the swaying of trees or the eerie howl from the rafters of a house..
His work is sovereign and just as the wind blows where it wishes and we sometimes hear its sound or perceive its movement in the swishing of grass or the swaying of trees, we do not know where it comes from..
Christ was appointed by the Father to fulfil His plan of salvation and to secure it by the sacrifice of His righteous life through the spilling of His holy blood on Calvary's Tree - all because of God's great loving-kindness, His sweet tender-compassion and His eternal goodness, grace and mercy.
Both the man and woman had disobeyed God's command - not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and rebellion was already rooted deep within their hearts - for both had become the possessors of a fallen nature - a sin nature: the old man, as the Bible calls it - and from the birth of their first child onwards, every member of the human race would be born with a sin nature and a predisposition to evil - for we read that Adam begot sons and daughters..
Angels sing their holy song to God while the heavens rejoice; the earth is joyful; trees clap their hands and the very stones proclaim of the glory to God for He is full of grace and truth; His splendour and majesty are ever before Him and His strength and beauty is in His holy temple.
No surprise that we are exhorted to worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness for even the trees of the forest sing for joy and clap their hands together because the Lord is coming to judge the world in His righteousness and His people in His faithfulness.
And all who have trusted in Christ as Saviour can say with certainty and eternally: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'.
Only God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ is able to redeem us (by faith) - and He did this by dying on a tree and becoming a curse in our place.
It was Moses who wrote that the penalty for condemned criminals was to hang upon a tree, as a sign that they were cursed of God..
and by being lifted up and hung on Calvary's Tree, Christ was made a curse for us - redeeming us from the curse of the Law.
The ground was well-watered by four shimmering rivers, and the Lord made sure that every tree that produced luscious fruit was growing in this idyllic place, for the man to enjoy.
God even placed the tree of eternal life within easy reach of Adams fingers..
for all who eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God, will never die.
And He also placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the centre of the garden, but forbade Adam to eat of its fruit - for God desired that man would freely choose to serve and honour Him, out of tender affection and a desire to reverence his Creator - Who would walk with him in the garden and talk with him in the cool of evening.
with one simple call to obedience - you shall not eat of that tree. But Adam failed, plunging the human race into condemnation and enmity with our Creator God.
All who are saved by grace through faith in Him, receive His life - for Christ is our Tree of Life.
He is the Bread of life and hidden Manna, the true Vine and the Tree of life; the good Shepherd and Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life - and by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and through Him and for Him.
Jesus explained in the previous verse that the way to differentiate between a false prophet and a godly preacher is by their fruit, and explained that a good tree bears good fruit, while a bad tree bears bad fruit. Those who do God's will produce the fruit of the Spirit, while others speak perverse things, to draw the disciples away, after themselves. Beware of the false prophets, we are warned, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
However, Jesus rejected their supposition and used the parable of the fig tree to explain... that although sin IS the root of all tragedies, it is not necessarily because of a man's PERSONAL sin, for ALL men are guilty of sin, not only those who have difficulties.
The parable of the fig tree was to show that ALL have sinned and ALL need to repent.
Although ALL men, Jew and Gentile alike have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... and all need salvation through faith in Christ, the parable of the fig tree in a vineyard, indicates that Christ's teaching was targeting Israel as a nation - who for centuries had refused obey God's word, turn from their sin and return to the Lord their God.
The reference to a fig tree in an vineyard would immediately cause Jewish people to recall Isaiah's reference to the Lord chopping down a worthless fig tree and making the vineyard a wasteland.
The fig tree was a type of Israel; God the Father represented the owner of the vineyard.
Jesus was pictured as the vine-dresser and the lack of fruit on the branches of the tree, indicated an absence of the fruit of righteousness within the nation of Israel.