Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sitting Under the Vine and Fig Tree

In Ancient days, grapevines and fig trees were extremely common in places like Palestine.  To "sit under one's own vine and fig tree" became a proverbial expression among the Jews to symbolize peace, protection, and prosperity. Scripture refers to this phrase a few times:

"'...I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.  In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the Lord Almighty."  Zechariah 3:10 (also in Micah 4:4, 1 Kings 4:25)

In the midst of the busyness and pressures of this week as we try to get everything ready for South Bay Church's 2nd Preview, I heard a clear word from God this morning saying, "sit under the vine and fig tree".  The prophet Zechariah wrote down this prophetic statement around 520 B.C. - speaking of the time when Jesus would come to earth and take the penalty of our sins upon himself.   

Zechariah also says that in those days (after Christ provides forgiveness for our sins), we would be able to "sit under our vines and fig trees" - we would be able to enjoy internal peace and tranquility, which will transcend all common understanding.  We will be able to experience an internal prosperity of the soul.  Our loving Father would extend His arms over us, protecting us from the heat and pressures of life.  

Well, I sat under the tree today. I felt the arms of God comforting me, refreshing me, and strengthening me to move forward.  He filled me again with that unexplainable peace.  There is no better place to be than under the will of God and inside His Presence.  It's not religion or some impersonal force or entity.  It's truly enjoying relationship with a loving, personal God - who cares deeply about every detail of our lives.  

Let me invite you today to take time to sit under the vine and fig tree and receive the rest given by God to those who seek after Him.  Enjoy forgiveness, peace, and internal prosperity that comes from the True Vine. 

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