There is a threat of judgment on the unfruitful tree.
He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? Luke 13:6-7
The owner of the vineyard is God the Father. He comes expecting that it will finally bring him the fruit his heart desires, but finding none he decrees judgment, a judgment of wrath.
Luke 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The three years are three millennia since the birth of Jesus; the church is entering its third millennium. This also hearkens back to Genesis chapter 1, where God commands the earth to yield its harvest on the third day.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And the evening and the morning were the third day. Genesis 1: 11-13
The vinedresser is Jesus, who intercedes with his father to forestall his wrath.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
Jesus is following the pattern of intercession used by Moses in Exodus 32, Numbers 14 and other places.
Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. Psalms 106:23
So the vinedresser proposes an alternative that will make the tree fruitful. This is not a judgment of wrath, but of strong chastisement.
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. Luke 13:8-9
To dig about it and dung it is to fertilize it so it will bear fruit.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you John 15:16
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10 12
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Micah 3:12
For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. Jeremiah 4:3 -4
If we don't break up our own fallow ground, our hearts, the plowman of Isaiah 28, Jesus will come along and break it up for us. This next passage shows speaks of judgment coming to the church as a plowing on the hill of Zion. And the second verse gives the results of the plowing, revival and harvest.
Micah 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
The dung speaks of reproach, and judgment.
Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. Psalms 44:13
A rain to water the tree and allow the fertilizer to be absorbed into its root system must follow it. This speaks of the latter rain that brings the harvest.
Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Hosea 6:1-3
Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people. Hosea 6:11
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