Are you a good fig or a bad fig (Jeremiah 24)?
Most of the words God’s prophets spoke in the Old Testament were words of warning. The main theme these warnings took was, “Listen to God or you will be disciplined.” Jeremiah the prophet heralded this theme greatly. The background of the book of Jeremiah is: The Northen Kingdom of Israel had gone into exile over one-hundred years before Jeremiah was written, as punishment for their appalling sins. Judah, which was the Southern Kingdom, was now being taken captive by Babylon for the same reason. Jeremiah was warning the people that if they wanted to live, they needed to heed God and go with the King of Babylon. In other words, take discipline from God and live. However, if they kept not listening which was what they normally did, they would die. (Hebrews 12:1-11)
"This is what the LORD says: 'Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. He will escape with his life; he will live.' Jeremiah 38:2 (NIV)
In Jeremiah 24, God likens the people that listened to Him as very good figs, or the first figs to ripen. These figs were excellent to eat and could be given to God for a sacrifice. (Nehemiah 11:35) The ones that didn’t listen were called very bad figs, or rotten and were unusable by God.
Are you a good fig or a bad one? Just to remind you, both types of figs (people) were being punished by God because of their sins. Yet, the good figs decided to finally listen to God and went into captivity and lived with Him in Babylon.
...God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their 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 me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:5-7 (NIV)
Do you listen to God? Or do you even read His Word so you can listen to Him? When God shows you a sin in your life do you listen to Him and confess it, or do you do what you want? Take it from the good figs - don’t keep fighting what God wants, listen to Him and be blessed, instead of listening to whoever or whatever you like and end up in a rotten fix. Read Jeremiah 24-25:11 and 29.
Because of His love, Gini