(Proverbs 27:18 KJV) Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
This seems to be a place in Proverbs that has a series of unconnected thoughts. This verse stands alone and is another way of expressing the greatest commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself. It picks two types of work that are not that common today but have modern equivalents.
Ancient Israel did not have the wide variety of fruits available that we enjoy today. One was the fig. I would imagine that it was a hardy plant that could be cultivated in hilly country with iffy sources of water. Figs were not the cuisine of kings. Today we might think of farm workers who pick apples destined for the apple sauce or apple juice plants. They are working hard for low wages. If they eat a few apples in the process it is okay. We are to be considerate of those who work hard for a living, not look down on them.
How do you treat the clerks in Walmart? I agree that often their “service” does not deserve kindness but that is still what we are called to ladle out. We are to be courteous and kind because they are qualities of agape and we are to be controlled by agape.
So? Think of it as a way of turning the other cheek. It is difficult and counter intuitive but it is our standard of behavior.