Archive for November 3rd, 2016

Jeremiah 24

Jeremiah 24 has the prophet receiving a vision from God after Nebuchadnezzar was taken into exile from Jerusalem. God shows Jeremiah two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord.  And God asks Jeremiah what he sees, and then explains what it means.  “One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten”.  There is a stark contrast here between the two baskets, and God tells Jeremiah what these two represent.

First the good figs: “Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. This basket represents the people of Judah who were exiled for their disobedience.  God has chosen to restore them.  “I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land.  I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not uproot them.  I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”.  These people are coming back into deep relationship with God from their exile.

Then comes the second basket – the bad figs.  “Like  the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt”.  There are a bunch of bad apples, primarily the ruling class, who God is going to deal with in a very different way.  These folks aren’t entering into a restored relationship with God.  In fact, quite the opposite will occur.

I will make them  a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers”.  What a turn around.  God gave them the Promised Land earlier in their history, and they have effectively managed to lose it through their sinful choices and disobedience.  They have taken blessing and managed to turn it to destruction.  Why?  Because they chose to sin.  They did this to themselves.  Poor leaders helped it happen broadly, but each of us make our own choices and have to address our own sin!

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