When No Fruit Is on the Vine…

Today’s reading took me through two of the minor prophets, Nahum and Habakkuk.  The only thing I’ll say about Nahum is that if you rearrange the letters in his name you can spell the name, “human”…I never saw that before.  Now, that’s not going to help you spiritually in any way but I thought it was interesting.  Anyway, Habakkuk is also one of my favorite names of the Old Testament.  It runs a close second to the name “Mephibosheth”.  I had wanted to name one of my boys “Mephibosheth” but I knew it would be shortened to “Meph” and that sounds too much like “Meth” which would not be a good nickname…Anyway, on to the (I hope) more meaningful discussion.

At the end of the book of Habakkuk is one of the prophet’s greatest declarations of faith.  We read it in Habakkuk 3:17-19:  Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.  Habakkuk started his writing by questioning the ways of God and at the end he comes full circle.  In verse 17 Habakkuk is describing an agricultural “apocalypse”…no figs, no fruit, no olives, no sheep, no cattle….it can’t get any worse.  Yet, even if all of those tragedies strike, He intends to rejoice in the Lord…he intends to joy in his salvation.  We see this played out in modern life in places like Nigeria where followers of Jesus have lost everything, except that which cannot be taken away…their joy.  Is there anything that can take away your joy?  When no fruit is on the vine, continue to rejoice in the Lord.  He has not changed.  He has not abandoned you.

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