“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: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19, KJV)
A principal objective of great challenges (that leads to sorrow and despondency) is to prevent you from attaining your high places—being a winner. A great avenue to win no matter the situation is Joy and Rejoicing.
This is what makes winners and champions. When you respond with rejoicing, there is a divine conversion of your weakness to strength to attain what seems impossible. Your ability to rejoice in any situation does not mean absence of the difficulty but what you are doing is to hand the situation over to God.
By your rejoicing, you display a warrior’s mentality. It is only warriors that are winners not worriers. Your worrying will only deplete the strength to do anything meaningful.
When you look at our text for today, you can quickly surmise that this prophet was going through challenging times but through it all, he did not give in to what he is seeing but the goodness he previously saw. He understood that the present situation was just a mere distraction—a stealer of his joy therefore he dealt with the situation prophetically.
He used carefully orchestrated and purposeful joy and rejoicing to confuse whatever might be the source of the problem.
Symbolism of the Situation and Spiritual Impact of the response:
- The fig trees were not blossoming—
- It was from its leaves that Adam and Eve made their first covering (Gen. 3:7). Definitely, the fig leaves represent a covering. This implies that without covering you are exposed to shame, ridicule, the elements and even thieves—stealers of destiny to enter and exit at will. As from today and by the mercy of God, every thief of your destiny is apprehended, imprisoned and rendered powerless.
“In the evening there will be sudden terror. Before morning they will be gone.
This will be the fate of those who looted us, the destiny of those who robbed us.” (Isaiah 17:14, GWT)
“What challenges want you to see is the gravity of the problem but you need to show the situation that you are grounded in the words of a good good Father.”
- The fig tree was noted as a candidate for ruler-ship and sweetness—you can say that the fig tree is from a ruling family. “The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them…Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us! But the fig tree said to them,‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over trees?’’ Judges 9:8; 10-11, NKJV)
As a child of God you are from a royal family—“…you are a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9) Therefore when the fig tree was not blossoming, the devil was trying to pass a message across that you Habakkuk will not fulfill his royal status (step into his high place, sit on the throne and hold the scepter of kingship) and his life will be filled with bitterness.
Due to the fact that this prophet was discerning, he responded by rejoicing. What you do in the place of adversity will determine whether you will advance.
- The fig tree is also a symbol of prosperity and security: “Judah and Israel lived in security, every man under his vine and fig tree [in peace and prosperity]” (1 Kings 4:25a, TAB)
Situations may try to send a different message to make you lose your joy but do not give it up. You need to have an understanding that, “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety for the Lord was watching over me.” (Psalm 3:5, NLT)
“Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27, NLT)
Psalm 112:1-3, Luke 12:32, Isaiah 32:18
- No fruit on the vines, labor has come to nothing—The vines and olive talks about anointing and authority. When labor comes to nothing, this is all about fruitless effort. Working without anything to show for it. Also, there was absence of trade or commerce.
Sometimes you look at people and you wonder why they are behaving in a manner that defies rationale, it could be because what they are seeing you are not seeing it. While you are saying this situation is not more than this but they are seeing hopelessness or time to give up.
They might be dancing to the music that Satan is playing in their head—you can never make it, you are finished, you will never be married, etc. There is a messenger that Satan has programmed to afflict every destiny but you must be able to answer this messenger appropriately.
“Then what answer will one give the messengers of the [Philistine] nation? That the Lord has founded Zion, And the afflicted of His people will seek and find refuge in it.” (Isaiah 14:32, TAB)
To compound this difficult period the flock was cut off from the fold and no herd in the stalls. We can virtually say there was nothing for this man but in all these, Habakkuk said he will rejoice.
Why was he able to rejoice? — because he had focus. Let us look back at a statement that Habakkuk made: “Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”(Habakkuk 2:2 – 3, NKJV)
From the two verses above you can see why Habakkuk despite the challenges could rejoice. He knew what God had shown him, he wrote it down and he also realized that God is not a man that he should lie. What God had promised he will accomplish. Habakkuk was able to focus on what God had said not the distractions or light afflictions which is but for a moment.