Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord This Day Thy Children Meet"1 (Lyrics)
My father was a horticulturist, at least when it came to his fig tree; it was the focal point in the centre of our backyard. Dad would always be watching to see signs of life when the first green leaf would appear. He would spring into action by grafting three or four varieties of figs onto the little tree. To my father's delight, it would always flourish with new growth.
Interestingly, Jesus used the fig tree as a symbol of His return:
Matthew 24:32-33 – Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. (NASB)
As a minister of the gospel, my dad was keenly aware of end-time events predicted in Scripture. Perhaps that is why he was so partial to the fig tree. He believed that its prophetic fruit was beginning to blossom. Like many believers, he associated the fig tree with the nation of Israel; therefore, he encouraged his church to observe the things that were happening in connection to the holy land. Several remarkable modern events are among the historical instances of developments that show some evidence of having been foreshadowed in biblical prophecies. Consider the following:
Isaiah 66:8 – Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. (NASB)
Israel was re-established as a nation on May 14, 1948.
Isaiah 43:5-6 – Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, "Give them up!" And to the south, "Do not hold them back." Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth. (NASB)
Jewish people have been re-gathered from the four corners of the earth.
Ezekiel 36:34 – The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. (NASB)
The nation of Israel has become a land of agricultural abundance.
Psalm 83:4 – They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." (NASB)
Other nations have regularly threatened Israel's existence.
But what does all this have to do with us?
Matthew 24:44 – Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (NKJV)
We are called to watch and pray for knowledge of things currently taking place in our world. We are to read the Word of God and to join with others in studying the Bible, seeking to discern the signs of our times, and to be ready for the events yet to take place in the end times.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You with thanksgiving for the hope that You have instilled in us by the Holy Spirit. Help us to draw close to You each day for the encouragement and strength that You provide. Give us Your power to live in these days of unrest. Assist us to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. Give us the boldness to witness to those who have not yet come to know You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.