The same providence which to some is a savour of death unto death may by God’s grace be made to others a savour of life unto life.
God knows all who are His, and will protect and deliver them whatever may come.
1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
4 ¶ Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
8 ¶ And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
Jeremiah 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Jeremiah 24 – Two Baskets of Figs
These two baskets represent the different, fates that overlook the people at the fall of Jerusalem. The good figs in the first were those who were taken to Babylon with Jeremiah. It was for their good that they were transplanted, Jeremiah 24:5. How often we are led into captivity for the same reason. With bitter regrets we turn our backs on our early home, the scenes of our youth, and the faces we have loved. Sometimes we are carried into a strange land, where we find it impossible to sing the Lord’s song. But in the absence of all creature aid we find God drawing near to substitute restoration for destruction, building up for pulling down, and planting for uprooting.
Have we profited by our discipline? If so we are as the ripe figs of June, sweet to the taste of the owner who searches beneath the leaves of profession. Let those who congratulate themselves on their immunity from the troubles that have overtaken others, ponder Jeremiah 24:8-10. In the light of Hebrews 12:9, immunity from chastisement is not to be sought after. The residue of the Jews drifted to their hurt. See Jeremiah 41-42. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Jeremiah 24:7—And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
An heart to know! We know God with our heart, the seat of our moral life, and specially of our affections. As the apostle puts it, it is needful that the eyes of our heart should be opened that we should know. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love. He that loveth knoweth God, and is known of Him. If there is anything unloving in your nature, it will blur your knowledge of God, as condensed breath on a window-pane will shut out the fairest landscape. But the heart which knows God is his dear gift. Be willing to have it; ask for it, and it shall be yours.
The special aspect in which we are led to know God is as Jehovah—that He is the I AM, the unchanging, ever-loving one; the God who comes down to deliver and save. This is the aspect that we need most. When overcome with failure and sin; when thoroughly discouraged with abortive efforts; when overtaken by some sudden gust of temptation—we need to know that our sin cannot surprise God, or staunch his love, or wear out his patience.
But what a word is this, that we shall be his people and He our God! Oh, infinite God, how canst Thou take such as we are—nay, I will not speak of others, but of myself—such as I am, to be thy own peculiar treasure! I dare not look back on my past, or in upon my heart, but only out and away to thy great mercy; for I am most weak and unworthy. But I will for ever adore Thee for choosing me—not because of aught in myself, but for thy love and mercy’s sake. Moreover, Thou hast given me Thyself. What can I want beside Thee? Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. —Our Daily Homily