Sunday, September 9, 2018

Jeremiah 24

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 24. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today’s passage opens with details that tell us the time frame of this chapter. In 597 B.C., Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon along with skilled craftsmen and artisans. Zedekiah then became king. During this time, God shows Jeremiah a vision with the imagery of figs, both ripe and rotten ones, to illustrate the differences in consequences for the Israelites.
  • The fresh figs represented the exiles to Babylon and the rotten figs were those who stayed in Judah or ran away to Egypt.
  • The ripe figs would be cared for and represented the exiles whom God would return to the land of Israel. God promises they will recognize him in their hearts and they will enthusiastically return to him.
  • On the other hand, the Israelites who were not exiled would be disgraced, mocked, taunted, and cursed (see verse 9) before none of them remained in Israel.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The exiles in Babylon were saved not because they were good, but because God knew their hearts would respond to him.
  • While exiled, God continued to care for his people. They were captives but not slaves; the people could run businesses and own homes, and some even held positions in the government. Sometimes we assume that we are blessed when life goes well and cursed when it does not; but we need to remember that God always watches over his people even if we don’t understand or like the current circumstances.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If you are facing trouble today, take a moment right now and ask God to help you grow stronger in him.
  • If things are going your way today then pause, thank God, and ask him to help you use your prosperity for him.
  • One of the ways you can grow stronger in God and give back to him at the same time is by being a part of a Verve Serving Team. You can check out as many of our volunteer areas as you’d like by doing a First Serve with no commitment: spend a service shadowing one or more of our volunteer positions to find the one that’s the right fit for you!