This morning I was reading from the Book of Jeremiah. This book of the Bible holds a special place in my heart each time I read it because I am reminded of a very specific promise that God gave to me during the most difficult time in my life.
The specific promise to me was that God would hear me and answer my prayer, and show me great and mighty things…and that He would heal my daughter. It was shortly after my daughter had been diagnosed with cancer – in fact just a little over a week after her diagnosis she suddenly developed excruciating pain and my husband had to take her to the hospital in the middle of the night…again. I honestly feared for her life and as I prayed the Lord gently directed me to Jeremiah 33 where I read 2 verses that helped me then, and have continued to help me since that time. Jeremiah 33:3 which says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” As I continued reading verse six of the same chapter said, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” I was amazed that God would answer me so directly and personally – even as I remember the evening and re-read these verses I continue to be amazed by His grace!
This morning I did not read those verses, but I found a truth that I would like to share with you today. I read from Jeremiah 24 – the sign of the figs. As I was reading I saw something that I had never noticed before – I saw the Lord telling His people that He was removing them from their home land, and putting them in to captivity for their good. He was giving them a promise that He would be their God and would one day return them to their homes and that He would build and plant them. I also noticed that he said because of their captivity they would return to God with their whole hearts and would be His people and He would be their God. This was God’s action towards the good figs – those that were willing to be carried away and trust God through their captivity (i.e. difficult time).
To the evil figs – those that would not trust God, those that were turning to other sources to avoid the captivity – to them He “promised” that they would never return home – they would be cursed. He likened their lack of trust to idolatry – to turning to other Gods.
We live in uncertain times where many folks are really struggling and are being tempted as the evil figs to devise plans, use men’s devices, dream up schemes, and deceive themselves because of desperation. Jeremiah 23:23, 24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord.” When facing trouble, those that reject God's plan view God as being far away and are in essence forgetting that God is near, or able to see.
In reality what we really need to be doing is wholeheartedly trusting the Lord; seeking Him in earnest and relying fully on Him because of what the Lord tells us Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Will you be willing to trust the Lord and let Him take you to where He wants you to go…for your own good, or will you turn away from Him and dream, devise, and deceive yourself into believing you know best? This is a tough one, I know – but I have learned by experience “…after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Remember Psalm 27:14, "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
The difference between the good figs and the bad figs?
The Good figs fulfilled Jeremiah 22:3-4, “Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.” These verses are instructing us to Trust and Obey God …do what has been judged as “right,” witness to the unsaved, be ye kind one to another, and don’t discourage anyone from turning to God for salvation by your actions; and then promises by these we’ll be blessed.
The Bad Figs = Jeremiah 22:5, “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.” In other words if you Trust in yourself and refuse to follow the instruction given then you will face certain destruction.
There are many times throughout our lives when we’ll face hard times, and with them comes hard choices. When we make our choices and decisions based on the Word of God – we have confidence because as John 17:17 says, “...thy word is truth.”
Are you struggling with a decision today? Are you afraid of where your journey may lead you? Place yourself amongst the good figs – God will provide and that is His promise to you!
I love you ladies, and pray that God will use these verses to help you today!