Jeremiah 24:1-10 (JDV)
Jeremiah 24:1 Yahveh showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of Yahveh after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had deported Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, the officials of Judah, and the craftsmen and metal-smiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon.
Jeremiah 24:2 One basket contained very good figs, like early figs, but the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they were inedible.
Jeremiah 24:3 Yahveh said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs! The good figs are very good, but the bad figs are extremely bad, so bad they are inedible.”
Jeremiah 24:4 The word of Yahveh came to me:
Jeremiah 24:5 “This is what Yahveh, the God of Israel, says: Like these good figs, so I regard as good the exiles from Judah I sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.
Jeremiah 24:6 I will keep my eyes on them for their good and will return them to this land. I will build them up and not demolish them; I will plant them and not uproot them.
Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Yahveh. They will be my people, and I will be their God because they will return to me with all their heart.
Jeremiah 24:8 “But as for the bad figs, so bad they are inedible, this is what Yahveh says: In this way I will deal with King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and the remainder of Jerusalem – those remaining in this land or living in the land of Egypt.
Jeremiah 24:9 I will make them an object of horror and a disaster to all the kingdoms of the land, an example for disgrace, scorn, ridicule, and cursing, wherever I have banished them.
Jeremiah 24:10 I will send the sword, famine, and plague against them until they have perished from the land I gave to them and their fathers.”
Jeremiah saw two baskets of figs that were as different as night and day. One basket had figs that were superb, the other had figs that were so bad they were indedible.
The people of Judah in Jeremiah’s time are symbols – not just of God’s people – but of all people. The ones who repent and turn back to God are the good figs, and will return to the God and he will bring them back to the promised land. The bad figs represent Zedekiah and those like him who experience hardship but do not change, but seek refuge in Egypt. They do not choose to turn to God in difficult times. They will be utterly destroyed. What kind of fig are you?
LORD, forgive us for trusting in ourselves. Teach us to turn back to you.