Jeremiah 24

Jun 11, 2024    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans.” (Jeremiah 24:5, ESV)


The LORD had different metaphors for His people Israel. Isaiah referred to them as God’s Vineyard. Earlier Jeremiah called them clay in the hand of the Potter. Now the LORD compared them to figs. Figs are a popular fruit in Israel. The early figs are particularly sweet and considered a delicacy. But what happens to figs that are left in a basket for several days or weeks in Israel’s warm climate? They rot and are good for nothing.


The LORD considered the people who listened to Jeremiah and surrendered to the Babylonians to be good figs. They would be gathered and taken to Babylon, but God would bless them. Even though God was disciplining them, He would care for them, and they would prosper while in Babylon. In a few chapters, the LORD would tell the Babylonian exiles:


“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)


After they had suffered for a little while, God would bring them back to their homeland in Judah. Then they would no longer worship and serve idols but would worship and serve the LORD.


On the other hand, the Jews who wouldn’t listen to Jeremiah and wouldn’t surrender to the Babylonians were considered to be bad figs. This included King Zedekiah and his officials. They had overstayed their welcome in Jerusalem and were now rotten to the core. Therefore, they would be given over to the sword, to famine, and to disease until they were destroyed from the land.


God presented the people with a choice. They could be good figs or bad figs. They could surrender to the LORD and humble themselves beneath His mighty hand, or else they could resist His will and perish from the land. We each are given the same choice. God wants us to be sweet, delicious figs who please Him and benefit others. But if we rebel against His commandments to do what is right in our own eyes, then we will be good for nothing and cast out.


So are you a good fig or a bad fig?