每日诗歌: 勸 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJRwvXXBqxI)
Jeremiah 23 [Read]
Jeremiah 24 [Read]
2 Timothy 2 [Read]
Seeing can be deceiving. The judgment of God finally came down to the people of Judah through the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty Babylonian king. He carried into exile the king of Judah along with his officials, craftsmen, and artisans (Jer 24:1), and left a puppet government headed by Zedekiah (24:8). Imagine yourself standing at the gate of Jerusalem watching all the people being carried away, listening to the weeping and howling, what would you be thinking? The kingdom was finished, and the only hope for Judah was on those who were left behind. Well, you would be deceived.
God shows Jeremiah two baskets of figs: one is good and the other is poor (24:2). The good ones symbolize the people who are carried in exile by the Babylonians, for they are “sent away from this place to the land of Chaldeans” (24:5). They will be away from home and living among the gentiles, and they will be treated as second class citizens. Their hearts will be filled with sorrow and their lives will be tough. But God’s eyes will watch over them, and he will build them up and plant them (24:6). Most importantly, God will give them a heart to know God (24:7). With that God-given gift, they will return to the LORD with all their heart (24:7). The ones facing great afflictions are the ones who will be purged and consecrated, and they will be called the people of God.
In contrast, those who stayed behind in the land of Judah are the poor figs. They will be made a reproach and a byword, an object of ridicule and cursing (24:9), and they will experience sword, famine, and plague (24:10). By God’s sovereignty, they are condemned to be destroyed. It must have been very surprising or even unbelievable for those left behind, because they seem to have the best chance of bringing another revival for the once glorious kingdom of Israel. At least, they are still in the Promised Land. When it comes to God’s plan, seeing can definitely be deceiving.
Every Christian I know experiences hard time, and sometimes the visible “facts” seem to indicate no hope. But facts really don’t control the future, only the truth does. And to all Christians, there is only one truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, and truth will never deceive us.
Keep on reading.