Bible Pathways - Aug. 20, 2007
In Today's Scripture Reading:
Future restoration; The Branch will execute judgment; lying prophets; sign of good and bad figs; judgment on Babylon foretold
Only a few months remained before the Babylonians' destruction of the kingdom of Judah. It was now too late to pray for Jerusalem or for the Temple to be saved from destruction. Judah's last king, Zedekiah, would have his eyes gouged out and be taken in chains to Babylon (II Kings 25:7). These prophecies are all horrifying reminders that sin and suffering are inseparable and that judgment is inevitable whenever the Word of God is disregarded.
Jeremiah's message turned from one of the coming judgment to one of comfort to them. To illustrate, the Lord showed him that one basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty (bad, rotten) figs, which could not be eaten (Jeremiah 24:2). Then the Lord said: Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge (regard) 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. For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land (24:5-6). There were three fig harvests — June, August, and November. The first figs, in June, were considered a great delicacy (Isaiah 28:4; Hosea 9:10; Micah 7:1). Thus the Lord was lovingly sending the chosen "good figs" into captivity to correct them "for their own good."
Even while the armies of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem, Jeremiah assured those who were faithful to God's Word: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16). At the proper time the Lord Jesus Christ will fulfill this prophecy concerning Himself.
When we receive Christ as our Savior He becomes for us THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. We too are comforted as we continue to look forward to the coming return of the Messiah Jesus, who is that Righteous Branch. He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).
As THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6). Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30; also II Corinthians 5:21).
23:10 adulterers => forsakers of God; because of swearing =>because of the curse of God upon it; 23:32 lightness => vain boasting; 25:34 fall like a pleasant vessel => break like a valuable vessel; 25:38 covert => hiding place.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Iva Ann McElroy Staff: Mary Kay Wagner Government Officials: Rep. Katherine Castor (FL), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX) and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) Country: Egypt (66 million) in northeastern Africa Major languages: Arabic and English Christians are not permitted to evangelize Muslims 87.5% Muslim; 12% Christian; .5% Other Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Exodus 15:1-19).
Optional Reading: I John 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:13