“The vine has dried up, and the fig tree withered; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all of the trees of the field are withered; for joy has withered away from the sons of men.”
The withering of the trees of the gardens and wood are a sign and an analogy for the withering of the spiritual life of the people.
The vine symbolises fruitfulness which has disappeared from the land, leaving barrenness. There is no fruit to God, no offerings or tithes in the storehouse. The fig tree is a sign of prosperity and security. Both these blessing have gone and there is no provision for the people and they are spiritually destitute. We look into our lives to see the blessing of God and to know we are walking with Him. It is not about our feelings of our thought patterns, but about the faith that clings to Him and the joy that will see us through to the very end. We look into our souls and the outward life of deeds and seek righteousness. The pomegranate tree was a symbol of righteousness and we must exhibit this grace and gift in our life. We know there is no human righteousness, but if we belong to God we have the righteousness of Christ to cover us and make us truly right before the holy God. The pomegranate tree has withered, and righteousness is not found among the people of God.
Victory has gone. The things of this earthly life have overtaken the people of God and they are succumbing to temptation and experiencing failure. The withered palm tree speak of this truth that the prophet is showing the people. The people have lost their personal knowledge of God and the picture of the apple tree speaks of this.
If fact, all the trees are withered and dry. So also the joy of the people of God has withered, and they can only redeem that joy through repentance and a change in life. We also must not depend on feelings and the provision of life, but on the salvation of the Lord. We put our trust in Him and lay all our burdens at His feet. We do not allow ourselves to let the burdens and stresses of life take away our joy in the Lord, but look for His blessing and peace. This is true of those who do not know the Lord. Their fruitfulness is withered and their life is just dry. Until we seek the Lord, we can never find the rest we crave. Only in Christ is there life and peace with God.