Jeremiah 24

Jeremiah 24 is a very short chapter – only ten verses.  Sort of sticks out in this book as it is less than half as long as most of the chapters thus far.  But it contains a very important lesson we need to pay close attention to.  The chapter is about “two baskets of figs”.  God uses them as an illustration of two groups of people that Jeremiah was talking to. 

 

The first group was made up of people whom God had protected as they wer off in exile.  He had kept His eye on them and made sure they got good treatment even while being slaves in a foreign land.  But they had a heart to know God.  Listen to how God describes these folks: “They’ll be my people and I’ll be their God, for they’ll have returned to me with all their hearts”.  Do you see it?  Here is a group of people who had been punished for their rejection of God and had been exiled to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.  They had been living in his land and not exactly experiencing the life they may have dreamed.  But they got their heart right.  They returned to God “with all their hearts” and put Him back where He belonged.  It is all about the heart folks.  It is about how we relate to the living God of the universe and how we respond with our heart.  It is not just the external obedience God desires.  He wants us to give Him our heart, all of it, completely and totally.  That is when He is excited to have a real relationship with us.  We will be His people and He will be our God.  It is a matter of the heart.

 

The other group, those led by king Zedekiah of Judah, well their fortune is not so good.  They are portrayed as “rotten figs” and are going to “die like flies” and things will not go well until they are all gone.  Their heart is not right.  They are rotten to the core and their future is going to match up to the condition of their heart.  The lesson here is clear – God is concerned about our heart.  Ten short verses, one short analogy about two baskets of figs.  But the lesson is clear – God wants our heart.  If it is, we have relationship and a bright future.  If it isn’t, well life will be rotten.  What a bummer way to live…..

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