Book of Jeremiah Chapter 24
To understand this lesson, we need to understand the sacrifice of the “first fruits”.
These first fruits were to be the choicest of the first harvest of the crops.
The nation of Israel was known as God’s “first fruits”.
Jer 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Here “holiness” means a people dedicated to God.
All those of Israel who were offended by the ways of God would be punished. It is the same today!
Today “first fruits can be used as all those who are first saved in a new area and led to the Lord.
Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
So, we see that Israel were to be the first fruits of In God’s increase!
Let’s see as the Lord shows Jeremiah a new vision so he also could understand what God was doing.
*****Jer 24:1 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.
Jer 24:2 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.
We know that figs are small sweet pear-shaped fruits and they grow on small trees.
We should remember that Adam and Eve made the very first camouflage clothing line from the leaves of the fig tree when they knew they had sinned and were trying to hide from God.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
So, we know there were many fig trees around from day 1 and not some cross bred tree like so many are today.
This lesson was intended for Jeremiah, but it is also intended for us here today!
There are only two groups of people in the world. Those who follow in the will of God and those who are not in the will of God!
One of the biggest problems we face in this world today is that people do not want to hear the truth, especially when it affects their lifestyle!
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
***1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
In our lesson today, the good figs will represent the Jews who were carried away into captivity, the bad figs were those left behind who would reject the Word of God given to the prophet Jeremiah.
This is the great hope of all those who have come to know the Lord in a personal relationship and one day soon the Lord will carry us away to be with Him while those who reject the Word of God will be left behind!
The bad figs represent all those who are left behind in Judah at this time and all those who have rejected the Lord when He returns.
Just so we know for more than 200 years God had sent His prophets to warn Israel of sin.
During the time of Jeremiah, God had intensified His warnings.
During the time of Jeremiah, God had reached a point where He would no longer forgive His people of their sin. Not because God became unforgiving but because He knew that this generation of Jews simply would not repent.
We know that God never changes so it is very true that the Holy Spirit will not always strive with individuals even in our time.
It is also in the time of Jeremiah that God would deal with the wrongs of His people and execute justice upon them!
Today we have been given the truth by the Apostles of Jesus Christ:
Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, “as unto Christ”;
Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, “doing the will of God from the heart”;
Eph 6:7 With good will “doing service, as to the Lord”, and not to men:
Eph 6:8 “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord”, whether he be bond or free.
If we cannot understand these things, then we need to take the time to get it right.
God can see into the heart, and He knows if we are the real thing or not!
God knew these same things about Judah!
You want to begin to destroy a nation, remove all the people of knowledge and skills who can build a nation but most important remove all those who love the Lord.
It is this time when Daniel and his three friends, and Ezekiel and many others such as Mordecai and Esther would be in this group, with Nehemiah and Ezra.
We can see that these were certainly the good figs who would keep the Word of God on trac to reach the day of Jesus Christ!
Those that were left behind who had rejected the law of God were indeed the bad figs.
Certainly, there were also some others left behind that knew the Lord because God always has His remnant. These would probably be those who were the poorest in the nation who all the politicians had forgotten from both sides and considered useless.
Remember this is a vision that only Jeremiah sees at this time.
*****Jer 24:3 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.
The very good figs represented the true believers among the Jews that were carried off into captivity.
We will see that no one can out think the Lord. It would be captivity that would protect the true believers while those who worship idols would die off leaving a people of believers.
God would use captivity to save His children.
We should know by now that the Lord has many ways to deal with nations, but He does this by dealing with the individuals in any nation.
Many times, the true villains will remain unknown until it is time for God to expose them.
Immorality will ruin any nation but crimes against those who do live a moral life will also ruin a nation.
The Lord is the giver of life and when He departs, a body soon decays into nothingness and vanity!
Jeremiah would not only see many of these things with his own eyes, the Lord would also show him in visions things that would become the truth.
In fact the greatest Prophet of them all is Jehovah God, The Lord of all the Ages!
We may not see the visions that Jeremiah saw but we can certainly see our own nation fall into the trap of immorality.
Even history proves these things will cripple any nation that partakes in such things.
Who are God’s heroes? Those that know the Word of God and take a stand on its truths!
The kingdom of Satan is just as active as the Kingdom of Christ if not more so today, to the shame of those who profess to be Christians.
The differences in the good figs and the bad figs are the differences between Heaven and Hell!
What did Jesus say?
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
*****Jer 24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 24:5 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.
When we see how the Lord deals with His children, it should teach us that the actions of love in our own heart cannot come close to the action of love from the Lord.
We must understand that sometimes that hard and distressing position, is the best for us.
God will humble us sometimes just, so He can make us to be stronger and more useful.
How could we have the wonderful words of the Holy Spirit through Daniel and Ezekiel if the Jews had remained in Judah?
Their removal to Babylon saved them from the awful things that faced those who were left behind!
It is no wonder that Jeremiah was treated so badly when he preached these things to the people of Judah.
We may not always understand the ways of God but then, this is why we must have “faith”!
God’s plan goes far beyond our own imaginations!
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The truth is when are made to see how the enemy lives, most everyone of us will agree that the truth of God is where we need to be!
God had told these people that in order to be saved they must surrender to the enemy.
It may have been to Nebuchadnezzar this time, but this is the main theme of our salvation.
To be saved we must surrender to the truth of God!
There is another principle of salvation that plays out in our next Scripture.
*****Jer 24:6 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.
Paul wrote: Rom_11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
This is the same thing God told Jeremiah and we know that this time is still in the future.
The Church will already be the Lord when this takes place!
The Lord has already said He will set His eyes upon them for good and this is part of the good God was talking about!
Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.
2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
Isa 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
Jehovah God, The Lord Jesus Christ just loves to save but He also requires obedience!
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
All these things require a “new heart”!
*****Jer 24:7 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.
The truth of this new heart is that we will all know our Savior!
All those with a heart to know our Savior will know Him because the Holy Spirit moves in to illuminate our minds to know our Savior.
1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
We must not just know the Lord.
We must have that personal knowledge within ourselves, our entire being.
We must speak to Him while He reads the intent of our new heart!
To know the Lord is to love the Lord!
Some say Jerusalem is the center of the universe.
Some same the Sun is the center of the universe.
Some say our galaxy is the center of the universe.
Some say other things are the center of the universe.
The truth is, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the center of our universe, spiritually and in reality!
When we truly love the Lord then we cannot stand idols or false gods!
When we truly love the Lord then our “Faith” will be set in the right place!
Psa 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
What would God do for the exiles? God would build them up and make them secure!
The truth is the Lord will always sustain His children and give us His assurance that things are much better when our “faith” is real and our love for Him is true!
Pro 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
Sometimes things just look so bad around us that we do not know what to believe!
When we remember that things are just like the Lord told us, we will realize that our Lord always tells us the truth!
Our relationship with the Lord will be at its best when we commit to the Word of God and apply it to our lives!
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
And the rotten figs:
*****Jer 24:8 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:
Jer 24:9 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.
Judgment is real!
Zedekiah was left behind as a puppet king for Babylon along with those in charge of the government whose main goal was to gather taxes to pay to Babylon, yet they clung to their pride and refused to repent.
Zedekiah was named Mattaniah by his father King Josiah, but it was the king of Babylon who had changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Ki 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Ki 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2Ki 24:19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
Zedekiah had no intention of being a puppet king to anyone but thought that as king he could do something himself.
God had already pronounced His judgment and unless there was repentance His judgment would stand.
Jeremiah was his councilor, but the Word of God was ignored, and he entered into an alliance with Hophra king of Egypt.
God had already informed him that even those who fled to Egypt would not miss out on His judgment!
The armies of Nebuchadnezzar would return and this time they would destroy Jerusalem.
What had been God’s promise by the words of Moses?
Deu 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
If we do not learn anything else, we need to learn that it is simply foolish to go against the Word of God anytime!
Even today in many nations the Jews are still an object of scorn and they will remain this way until they repent and return to the Lord!
In Jeremiah’s time it was the Babylonian exile of 586 BC and after the Lord had returned to Heaven it was the Roman exile of 70 AD.
Israel was conquered and remained that way until May 14, 1948.
God used war as a means to execute judgment on these people and certain nations of today believe God is still against this people.
*****Jer 24:10 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.
The result of sin is still judgment, and this will not ever change!
As long as those who are represented by the evil figs still dwell in the land of Israel, there will be Jews living in disgrace in foreign lands.
2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
We are fools to believe that the Lord ever forgets the things He says!
The difference between “Good Figs” and “Bad Figs” are morals.
Both of these tend to grow to the extreme.
The Good Figs were very good! The Bad Figs were very bad!
Those who are moral obey the Word of God.
Those who are immoral reject the Word of God.
It is the morals of every nation that stick out and show what that nation is made of!
The example in our lesson today is that the “Good Figs” seemed to have suffered to most and were taken from their homes.
The “Bad Figs” remained in their homes and seemed to escape the Judgment of God but that was not the end of the story for them!
Heb_12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
These words will also always be true!
We must also remember God’s promise to the true Jews.
Zec 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.