Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 9, 2017

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 24.

“After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me:  behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord!  One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten due to rottenness.  Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”  And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good;  and the bad figs, very bad, which cannot be eaten due to rottenness.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans.  For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land;  and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.  I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord;  and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

‘But like the bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness—indeed, thus says the Lord—so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and the ones who dwell in the land of Egypt.  I will make them a terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them.  I will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.’”  Jeremiah chapter 24.

———————-

There is good fruit, and there is bad fruit.  This sharp distinction is an illustration of the sharp distinction between God’s elect and the non-elect.

For God’s elect, God does everything for them. 

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:28-30.

For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land;  and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.”  Verse 6.

And, even though God’s elect may experience trials and tribulations, like the “good figs” who went into captivity into Babylon, God preserves them through it.

God is the One Who makes good fruit.

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad;  for the tree is known by its fruit.”  Matthew 12:33. 

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  Matthew 7:17-19.

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord;  and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”  Verse 7.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-8.


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