Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail…
We are called in a special manner to humble ourselves before God, on account of a great national calamity — an outbreak of cattle plague. So far as we can see, it comes directly from God. Some will say that the remedy is proper attention to the conditions of the disease, and not humiliation or prayer. But shall we admit the uselessness of prayer? Shall we say prayer must be confined to spiritual things? Surely we may ask what we need, "both for the body and the soul." We must not ask God to alter the laws of nature, or work miracles for our deliverance. God does not take away a plague, either from nations or from individuals, simply because they asked Him to do so. In relation to such a plague, human endeavour can find appropriate spheres, and yet room be left for prayer. Our praying, and humbling ourselves before God, is sure to do us good, if we engage in it with sincerity of heart.
(G. G. Lawrence, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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:
WEB: For though the fig tree doesn't flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls: