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The Vine and the Fig Tree


The father of our nation, George Washington, was extremely private about his personal faith. But the President often used biblical references to express his belief that God was involved in guiding and protecting the United States of America. At his military resignation before Congress, Washington passionately declared that he was trusting “our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God.”

Today’s verse, found in the book of Micah, was one Washington quoted regularly. He referenced the phrase, “under their vine and fig tree,” almost 50 times in his writings and public addresses. In Micah chapter 4, the prophet was warning Israel and Judah that God would bring the Assyrian and Babylonian empires to destroy the Northern kingdom and ravage the capital of the Southern kingdom, Jerusalem. Micah accused Israel’s leaders and prophets of corruption and injustice and warned the people of the coming disaster from the outside empires.

The phrase “under their vine and fig tree” is repeated three times in Scripture: Micah 4:4, 1 Kings 4:25, and Zechariah 3:10. It describes the freedom and independence God’s people enjoy under His rule. Micah was giving his listeners a ray of hope. Jerusalem and the temple would not be permanently destroyed. “In the last days” (v. 1), God would rebuild and restore His temple and it would be the new meeting place for God’s people between heaven and earth.

Under this new establishment, all nations would stream to Jerusalem, where God would be recognized as the King (v. 1). God is the righteous teacher (v. 2), judge (v. 3a), and peacemaker (v. 3b). Under His rule, everyone will be free from tyranny and oppression (v. 4).

>> Micah declares in verse 5 that nations choose who their god may be, but His people ought to walk in the name of the Lord forever. Whether you belong to the United States of America or another country, your first allegiance is to the Triune God.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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