The Fig Tree (Judges 9:10)

“Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come, you reign over us.’” (Judges 9:10)


Do you see how the trees are trying to take the initiative over God?  They first asked the one who would have been the rightful king and he turned down the job.  Rather than turning back to God to bring them a king in His time, they start going to others—others who do not belong on the throne.  And this is just what the people were doing.  Gideon had turned down the kingship, so as soon as he died, they sought out another.  And, oh what a mess they ended up with.

The fig tree is another staple fruit of Israel.  In good years, it will bear fruit twice in a season—once early and once late.  Its fruit is sweet and highly nutritious and their presence and imagery is a sign of abundance for the people.  The promised land is a land described as a land of fig trees (Deuteronomy 8:8) and times of peace, both in this world and in the new creation, are described as a place where each person can rest under his own fig tree (1 Kings 4:25, Micah 4:4). 

Yet, peace does not come to us when we seek to run ahead of God.  The people were not happy with the fact that other nations had human kings and they did not have one, though how much more wonderful it is to have God as king.  Through Gideon’s rejection of kingship, God was telling the people to wait for the appropriate time.  They found that entirely unacceptable and went to another.

How often it is in our lives that we try and run ahead in our own time rather than stopping and waiting?  How often do we receive a “no” from God and we proceed anyhow?  Friends, trying to run ahead of God is never profitable behavior.  God will work in his own time.  That time is perfect and proper and we need to learn to be patient, waiting upon the Lord to open doors when he is ready.

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on November 09, 2008, in Expositions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Linda Demosthenes

    Thanks for your explanation of Judges 9. I was frustrated with God in my prayer today because though I have been getting constant reassurances for the past month and a half from His Word that He will help me get out from a financial bind, nothing is happening. So as the last of the money is dwindling to nothing, I am panicking and have started to take matters in my own hand to resolve my situation; but, what used to work suddenly is not working anymore. So, out of frustration, I prayed this afternoon during my Sabbath service, and said to God since I am not seeing the help He’s promised, and the money situation is getting uncomfortably low; I am going to have to break the Sabbath since the business I can make money from is more profitable on Saturdays.
    And, after I prayed for guidance as I usually do before I open His Word, He guided my hands to Judges 9. Now from experience I know He was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t too sure what it was with this parable.
    So, after reading many commentaries and website articles, I came across yours and after reading the responses of the trees, the vine, and the bramble and what the bramble represents, I got it. I already knew that God has been trying to teach me to have faith in Him and be patient; 2 qualities that I do not have…..But His response to my prayer today was: Be careful of wanting financial relief so badly that I go looking to ways other than Himself to get what I want, because by planning to break the Sabbath in order to make enough money to get myself out of this financial bind though I know it would be a sin to do that; I might end up losing my soul in the process.
    So thank you and Praise to God that He’s given you this gift of understanding His Word so you could help others like me.
    In Jesus name


    • Linda, I am glad that these words helped you, for indeed, we are called to rest in Christ and to be patient as we wait and even struggle. Just a note that I would suggest you consider the Sabbath on a Sunday. The early church, under the Apostolic direction, began meeting on Sundays rather than Saturdays for worship, which would leave you your Saturdays for work but also placing your practice in a context more consistent with the vast majority of Christianity throughout history and the world. Blessings, in Christ, Win


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