Jeremiah receives a vision of two fig baskets to represent those who are deported to Babylon and those who are left behind.
Jeremiah Chapter 24
Before the Lord
Two fig baskets are set before the temple of the Lord. There, they sit before His presence which dwells in the Holy of Holies in the center of the temple. They sit before the advocate between man and God, which is the high priest. In one sense, they are outside the temple waiting to come into the presence of God.
Contained in this scene are several spiritual truths. First, when we desire to come to God, we all stand outside of God's presence. Second, we must go through the mediator, the high priest, because we are not allowed to go into the temple or Holy of Holies ourselves (Num. 18:21-22, Heb. 9:6-7). Third, even though we are not allowed to go to Him, God sees us. He not only sees us, but He also sees inside of us, knowing if we are ripe or rotten. Without even taking a bite, God knows who is too spoiled to be eaten.
When we stand before God, we stand naked in our sins. Whatever rottenness is on the inside is exposed in His presence. But if we are righteous and have the intercession of the High Priest, who is Jesus, our works of faith are a pleasant fruit in God's eyes ready to be taken home into His presence.
Are you ripe? Or is your fruit rotten?
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 This vision was given to Jeremiah after the first deportation by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon (II Chro. 24:6-16). This prophecy most likely was given before the instance with King Zedekiah (Jer. 21-23), considering that the following chapters continue to back tract to earlier events.
2 The vision contains two fig baskets, one good and one bad.
3 Reminiscent of the very first prophecy Jeremiah received, God sends him a vision and then converses with him over what he sees (Jer. 1:11).
4-5 God now explains the vision. As beautiful and ripe as the good figs are, so will the remnant be in Babylon. God says this deportation is actually for their good. This is explained by the fact that God has decreed evil against Jerusalem and the land of Judah because of the sins of the Jews (Jer. 11:17). The people's sins have caused the land to be defiled, and now God will have to purge the land to know before He can once again bless it (Lev. 18:24, Num. 35:33).
6 When God is done purging the land of sin, he will bring the remnant back into the promised land. God Himself will plant them and will not pluck them up. This is a promise of complete restoration.
7 Fruit is ripe from the inside out. Even so, the remnant of the Jews will be beautiful from the inside out because they will turn their hearts back to God. God will honor the dedication of their hearts by claiming them as His own.
8-9 Unlike the good fruit, those who are not carried away in the first deportation will rot from their sins. They, too, will be removed by the king of Babylon but this time to their hurt. Wherever they go, they will be persecuted. This can be explained by the fact that the first deportation was the spoils of conquering the nation, but the second deportation happens as a result of the rebellion of king Zedekiah against the king of Babylon (II Ki. 24:20).
10 While most of the Jews are taking into Babylon, some are left behind. These Jews, rather than staying in the promised land, choose to flee. God, through Jeremiah, tells the people to stay in the promised land, but they will not listen and instead go down into Egypt (Jer. 42:19-22). As a result to their continual disobedience, God chases them with the very things they feared would happen to them if they stayed in the land according to God's word. Namely, to die by the sword, famine, pestilence.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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