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The Way To Honor
 
"Find your fig tree and keep it better than others. Success is easy." - Let God Be True
 
 
"Diligence secures a reward, even for the humble servant."
"Success rewards diligence."
- both quotes are from Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary
 
"Every diligent active man shall be at once independent and respectable."
- Adam Clarke
 
"If a  man in Palestine carefully watched his fig tree, and kept it in proper condition, he was sure to be abundantly rewarded in due season. So good servants obtain honour as the fruit of diligent service." - Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
 
"Diligent husbandry is rewarded. Whether we cultivate the tree, the master, the friend, our own soul, this law must ever hold good. Everything in this world of God's goes by law, not by luck; and what we sow we reap."
- Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
 
"Industry is the way to preferment."
Matthew Henry
 
So many people nowadays - even in the Church - want promotion but do not want to work for it. Many have the concept that - if some Great Preacher lays hands on them - they will have the same anointing imparted to them and be able to perform the same mighty feats for the Lord as this man or woman of God. It doesn't work that way.
 
What is required - in God's rule book - is good ole-fashioned hard work. It is called "diligence."
 
In Proverbs 27:18, Solomon, the wisest man on the face of this earth(outside of the Lord Jesus), said - "Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored."

Take note of what he was saying here.
 
"Whoso keepeth the fig tree..." - Fig trees are not easy to "keep." They need plenty of room so that their roots can travel out a long ways. They must be planted in sunny locations and watered regularly. The ground around the tree has to be kept clean of fallen fruit. It cannot be planted near citrus trees. Any exposed branches must be whitewashed. The soil must be kept watered - while leaving the top two inches to dry out. If it becomes extremely dry, the leaves become dry and yellow and drop off. If it is overwatered, the new green leaves drop off - seriously jeopardizing the plant. Any dead and dry twigs must be cut off to allow light to penetrate the inside branches.
 
"Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof..." - The delicious figs are the reward for the constant care and nurturing of the plant. However, it is important to note that simply buying a fig tree and planting it in the backyard does not guarantee a harvest of figs. Much cultivation is necessary in order to obtain such results.
 
King Solomon did not stop with the fig tree in his proverb. He went on to say - "...so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored." As we examine this verse, we see that he is trying to make a serious correlation between one thought and the other. He is saying that "keeping a fig tree" has a definite connection with serving the Lord.
 
But what could that analogy be?
 
It can be summed up in one word - "DILIGENCE."
 
He who tends the fig tree...takes care of it...watches over it...and keeps it by digging about it, dunging it, and pruning it - in due time, gets the reward of his labor in eating the fruit it produces. In like manner, he who serves his Master faithfully, prudently, and constantly by learning His will and obeying Him willingly is given a reward - being preferred before others, rewarded, and exalted.
 
In 2 Timothy 2:6, the Apostle Paul said - "The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits." In other words, he has the first rights to the fruits of his labor. However, unless he labors first, he will reap no fruit. He must labor first before he becomes a "partaker of the fruits." He has to deny himself, suffer, and wait in order to receive his reward. He perseveres in toil - looking onward for the reward. At no time can he relax his labors.
 
In Proverbs 12:11, Solomon said - "He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread..." Every man has his own "land" to "till." It is the man who diligently and actively employs his time in an honest calling, work, or business who is able to support himself abundantly. 
 
 
Along these same lines, he said in Proverbs 14:23 - "In all labor there is profit..." In his painful diligence - working at his trade - the laborer reaps an increase. In proportion to his labor is his profit.

In Proverbs 22:29, he added - "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." This man is constant and industrious in his business so much so that he is considered to be an expert in his field. Because of his diligence, he is entitled to claim the highest post and to be fit to enter into the services of kings rather than men of no repute.
 
We see a perfect example of "industry being the way to preferment" in 1 Kings 11:28 where it is recorded that Solomon "seeing the young man(Jeroboam) that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph."  Jeroboam was a young man of talent and energy. He minded his business in that he took cares and pains to do it right and did it with all of his might. Solomon recognized this trait of his and appointed him to be the Superintendent of forced labor - the deputy governor over the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
 
"Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof..."
 
Saint of God, where is your "fig tree"? How are you keeping it? Your "King Solomon" - the Lord Jesus Himself - is watching how you are conducting your business in the place where He has planted you.
 
Are you wanting a promotion? Are you desiring preferment before others? Do you hope for success and exaltation?
 
"...so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored."
 
 In the same manner that you conduct your every day business is the manner in which God will be able to "honor" you.
 
Pastor Henry said - "God is the God of labourers." He cannot and will not bless laziness.
 
"Diligent husbandry is rewarded. Whether we cultivate the tree, the master, the friend, our own soul, this law must ever hold good. Everything in this world of God's goes by law, not by luck; and what we sow we reap."
 
"Find your fig tree and keep it better than others. Success is easy."
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie

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