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The Sweet Blessing That is the Fig

Updated: Sep 22, 2023





Today I prayed, “Lord if there’s someone that needs to hear from you today, use me to let them know”. The Lord’s answer came as I was reminded of the significance of the Fig Tree. We can learn a valuable lesson from the fig tree. About its history, the nutritional blessings, from its fruit, and about how God can use “our fruit” to reach the world.


There are seven plants mentioned in the Bible that describe the fertility of the Promised Land. They are wheat, barley, grapevines, the fig tree, the pomegranate tree, the olive tree, and the date palm.


In my opinion, grapes and figs are especially significant in scripture. For example, Jesus used wine (from grapes) to perform his first miracle. Jesus and his mother attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee.


“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”


The whole story is found in the gospel of John chapter two.


Then there is the fig tree. Figs are referenced over 200 times in scripture and are mentioned in relation to both physical and spiritual hunger and growth.


Did you know fig leaves were the ‘fabric’ that made up Adam and Eve’s original wardrobe? They sewed these leaves together to cover themselves after they realized their nakedness.


“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.? – Genesis 3:7


Fig leaves must have been a lot bigger in the Garden of Eden! What a fashion statement that must have been. Thankfully, that trend didn’t stick.


The Sweet Blessing that is the Fig

Ficus carica L., commonly known as the fig, originated in northern Asia Minor and spread via the Greeks and the Romans throughout the Mediterranean region. Today, figs are grown around the world, predominantly in Turkey, Egypt, and Spain. The fig tree is still important in many cultures around the world.


Figs were commonly used to sweeten desserts before sugar became the all-purpose sweetener and are still used today as a substitute for today’s refined sugar. This often-underrated fruit is incredibly versatile. It adds flavor and a nutritional boost to salads, appetizers, main entrees, and desserts. Did I mention it’s versatile?


Let’s expand just a bit on the health blessings of figs.

● Improve digestion and decrease constipation.

● Help manage blood fat and blood sugar levels.

● Nourishes the cells and fights against cancer cells.

● Helps keep blood pressure under control.

● Helps prevent anemia.

● High in vitamin B6 and helps with memory.


Six dried figs contain only about 125 calories and contain significant amounts of magnesium (8%), potassium (7%), calcium (6%), and iron (6%). They are a superfood!


If you haven’t sampled this ancient fruit - we know Jesus ate a lot of them – try the recipe below. I picked one that is both delicious and, of course, healthy. This recipe is featured in 7 Foods of the Promised Land, by my friend and coach, Annette Reeder.



Fresh Fig Cake

INGREDIENTS

■ 3 Eggs, lightly beaten.

■ 1 Cup olive oil

■ 1 Cup buttermilk (substitute nut milk, but is best with buttermilk)

■ 1 Tsp vanilla extract

■ 2 Cups freshly milled flour (spelt, Kamut, and hard white are best)

■ 1 ½ Cups organic sugar or sucanat (less is ok)

■ 1 Tsp salt

■ 1 Tsp baking soda

■ 1 Tsp cinnamon

■ 1 Tsp nutmeg

■ ½ Tsp ground cloves

■ 1 ½ Cups chopped figs (or fig preserves)

■ ½ Cup chopped pecans


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix dry ingredients completely with a whisk.

3. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

4. Fold in pecans and figs

5. Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan. (a 9” round pan works too)

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Buttermilk Glaze

INGREDIENTS


■ ½ Cup buttermilk

■ 1 Cup organic sugar

■ ½ Cup butter

■ 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

■ 1 Tsp vanilla extract


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring all ingredients to a rolling boil over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes. Allow the glaze to cool slightly before drizzling it over the cake. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the cake allowing the glaze to go down into it.


While you enjoy your fresh Fig Cake, consider the parable of the fig tree in Mark 11:12-14 This story is for us, a reminder to be fruitful in our spiritual journey.


God has placed you where you are at this precise time to serve a purpose. In today’s world of chaos, it’s hard to hear the Holy Spirit when we ask for guidance. The distractions, like tv, phones, work, and sports, muffle the still small voice of the Spirit.


Feed heartily on God’s word and pray daily for the nourishment needed to thrive spiritually and physically in this noisy fallen world. Jesus came so that we would have life abundantly. He will help us stay focused on the life we are called to live today in a way that prompts us to look forward to the day we hear Him say … “well done …”


Matt. 21:18-22 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever.” And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, how soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, if you have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”


Jesus cursed the fig tree because it had leaves but no fruit. This is a symbol of the religious leaders of Jesus’s day who were all show and no substance.

Jesus condemned the tree for not providing what its appearance promised. This is a warning against spiritual fruitlessness. It should have been full of fruit but was barren.


Are you known for the fruit you produce? Do you even produce fruit or are you all leaves? Look closely in the mirror every day to make sure the world sees Jesus in us.


Dear God, help us to reflect your nature in our actions toward others today. Help us to encourage one another and build each other up. Let them see you in us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen


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