Deuteronomy 33:18-29; Luke 13:1-9; Psalms 78:70-72; Proverbs 19:15-16
NT: “And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’ But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will produce fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’”” (Luke 13:6-9 CSB)
According to Leviticus 19:23-25, when a fruit tree is planted, the fruit was not to be harvested for 4 years. The first 3 years, the fruit was forbidden. The fruit from the 4th year was dedicated to the Lord. The man in this parable waited an additional 3 years for fruit to appear on the fig tree. For seven years, the tree had taken up space in the garden and had not produced any fruit. If the tree was not going to bear fruit, he needed to remove it and replace it with a tree that would bear fruit. The garden owner had been more than patient and was willing to wait another year – invest more time and resources into the tree – and give it one last chance. The Lord is similarly patient and longsuffering with us, but the expectation of believers in Christ is that they bear fruit. Jesus spoke a lot about bearing fruit – and he also mentioned several times, that those who do not bear fruit will come to the end of their grace period… that those who have, more will be given – but those who don’t have, even what they have will be taken away. In Christ, we all have the ability to bear fruit. Those who don’t bear fruit are not unable – they are unwilling. God is more that willing to give His grace to those who are willing to be obedient to His word, will, and ways by His grace. But to those who are unwilling to obey – even by the grace that He gives – will come to a point where grace is no longer extended. Am I bearing fruit, or am I just taking up space and consuming resources? That is a question to ask the Lord. If the answer is no, then repent and commit to being fruitful. No matter where you are in the Lord, you can bear fruit by His grace.
Proverbs: “The one who keeps commands preserves himself; one who disregards his ways will die.” (Proverbs 19:16 CSB)
The person who treasures, gives heed to, and observes the mitzvah (the precepts of God), keeps, preserves, and protects himself. However, the person who carelessly walks through life, neglecting disciplines, and making light of the things that matter will, instead of preserving himself will perish prematurely.