Jeremiah 24 (NLT)
Jehoiachin was carried into exile in 597 B.C. Officials, craftsmen, and artisans were also deported, with only the poorest and weakest people being left behind in Judah. (The Archaeology Bible)
Good and Bad Figs
After King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon exiled Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the Lord gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem. 2 One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.
3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”
4 Then the Lord gave me this message: 5 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians. 6 I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them.
Judgment upon a nation or community means that all suffer, even those who may be individually innocent of the sins that brought God’s judgment. What God said to Jeremiah through the two baskets of figs means that even when all suffer under a national judgment, God still knows the difference between those caught up in the judgment and those who brought down the judgment.
7 I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.
8 “But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. 9 I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. 10 And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”
I love fresh and dried figs, but especially fresh. Newly picked from the tree and warm from the sun fresh!
“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.”
“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”
It is my choice, which kind of fig I am. And my choice comes in circumstances a hundred times each day, to be a good fig, obedient to Christ. HERE is a song of commitment, one that I have sung privately to the Lord countless times. “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Mack Wilberg directing.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Beautiful choir singing, just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.