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.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
These verses represent one of the strongest expressions of faith you will find in the whole Bible. Have you ever experienced times in your life where and when the worst happened? Times when it seems as if the world is on the brink of disaster, so we are left searching for God through all of it. Habakkuk was in such a place and he determines to rejoice in God even when everything else in life goes wrong. Habakkuk paints three scenarios for us to learn and navigate such times whenever we find ourselves there.
The first scenario is a picture of a bleak future. The blossoms on the fig tree and the grapes forming on the vine refer to those things you are trusting for the future. They are a symbol of hopes to come. It is just a blossom, just a flower, and yet it is a tangible sign that the figs and the grapes are coming. But in this case there are no signs for the future. The fig tree does not bud. There are no grapes on the vine. There is no visible sign that these things will ever come to be. And Habakkuk would tell you, when you have nothing to hold on to for the future, hold on to God, and that will be enough.
The second scenario is this: “Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food.” The olive crop and the fields refer to those things you are holding on to in the present. They are a symbol of your present means. But in this scenario what you are trusting lets you down. The olive crop fails. The fields produce no food. They disappoint you. The idea is this. You have planted and cultivated the fields, you have worked the land, tended the crops and now it is finally time for harvest, and the crops fail. The fields produce no food. It was all a deception. What do you do when all that you are counting on in the present suddenly comes crumbling down? What do you do when you suffer bitter disappointments in life? Habakkuk says, trust God and rejoice no matter what.
The third scenario is this: “Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls. The sheep and cattle refer to those things you are trusting from the past. They are a symbol of your reserves. But in this scenario you have no reserves to fall back on. There are no sheep in the pen. There are no cattle in the stalls. Or, to put it in today’s terms, there is no money in the bank. Your friends and family have helped you all they can. Your bail out systems is all maxed out. Your reserves are all used up. What do you do when you have nothing to fall back on? Habakkuk will advise us to fall back on God and he will hold you up. “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.”
I Declare: I declare that past disappointments and hurts are arrested and bound in the Mighty name of Jesus. I will not be shaken, I will not be envious, and I will not lose hope. Because all of my trust is in God! The Lord can keep me from falling, His joy is my strength.
Ignite Thought: When you don’t have where or who to fall back on, fall back on God and He will hold you up.