Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail…
The prophet teaches us what advantage it is to the faithful assembly, seasonably to submit to God, and to entertain serious fear when He threatens them, and when He summonses them to judgment: and he shows that, though they may perish a hundred times, they yet would not perish, for the Lord would ever supply them with occasions of joy, and would also cherish this joy within, so as to enable them to rise above all their adversities. Though the land was threatened with famine, and though no food would be supplied to them, they would yet be able always to rejoice in the God of their salvation; for they would know Him to be their Father, though for a time He severely chastised them. We now perceive more clearly, that the sorrow produced by the sense of our guilt is recommended to us on account of its advantage: for nothing is worse than to provoke God's wrath to destroy us; and nothing is better than to anticipate it, so that the Lord Himself may comfort us. We shall not always escape, for He may apparently treat us with severity; but though we may not be exempt from punishment, He will give us reasons to rejoice; and then in His own time, He will mitigate His severity, and by the effects will show Himself propitious to us. During the time when want or famine, or any other affliction is to be borne, He will render us joyful with this one consolation, for relying on His promises, we shall look for Him as the God of our salvation. We may hence gather a most useful lesson, — That whenever signs of God's wrath meet us in outward things, this remedy remains to us, — to consider what God is to us inwardly; for the inward joy, which faith brings to us, can overcome all fears, terrors, sorrows, and anxieties.
( John Calvin.)
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: