Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part VII: Prophecies Regarding Judah's Captivity
A. God's Doctrinal Correction Of His Pagan-Blinded People On The Meaning Of Their Trials
(Jeremiah 24:1-10)
  1. Introduction
    1. Spiritual blindness produced by the leavening influence of pagan ideas can deeply hurt our rapport with God, a fact we have verified from our study of Revelation 3:14-22: there we found that Evangelicalism is infected with pagan thought that has led the Evangelical community as a whole into errant ministries, and that in turn has led to God's threat of withdrawing His blessing from the movement, Revelation 3:16!
    2. Jeremiah faced the same kind of problem in his day. We view God's solution in his era for application to our needs in finding a way out of the maze of errant, pagan beliefs that affect us today:
  2. God's Doctrinal Correction Of His Pagan-Blinded People On The Meaning Of Their Trials, Jer. 24.
    1. The people of Judah were so affected by pagan beliefs in their mingling of God's worship with paganism that they flagrantly misunderstood God's punishment in His letting some in Judah be taken by Babylon:
      1. When Nebuchadnezzar took Judah's evil king Jeconiah and many of his people captive to Babylon (Jer. 24:1b), Ezekiel 11:16-17 refers to the view held by those still in Judah that these captives "had been taken away from the Lord" and had NO hope of His blessing! (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1160)
      2. Such a view arose from Judah's incorporation of PAGANISM that believed a local deity had power only with respect to his locale; those who were taken captive to some other land were thus thought to be vulnerable to a loss of God's blessing since they were now outside of His realm of power, Ibid.
      3. In reality, the Mosaic Covenant of Deuteronomy 28 by which the omnipresent and omnipotent Creator of the WHOLE UNIVERSE dealt with His people in Judah reveals those taken captive were sinful, but that those who remained free were equally sinful, and the partial captivity was God's warning to the rest of Judah to repent lest they themselves suffer the same fate, Deut. 28:15, 25!
    2. So, to correct this errant pagan-influenced misunderstanding of the people in Judah, God sent Jeremiah with an object lesson involving two contrasting baskets of figs, Jeremiah 24:1-10:
      1. The vision of the two baskets of figs in Jeremiah 24:1a with 24:2 was given by God to Jeremiah in connection with Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Judah's king Jeconiah and some in Judah, cf. Jer. 24:1b.
      2. That vision contrasted a basket of very good figs with another basket of unedible, rotting figs, 24:2-3.
      3. God then clarified the meaning, providing a huge CORRECTION to the false, pagan-infected errant beliefs of the Judaean people regarding the meaning of the partial captivity under Jeconiah:
        1. Just OPPOSITE the view of those who were left in Judah, the good figs represented the Babylonian CAPTIVES who were under God's discipline, Jer. 24:5: in accord with Deuteronomy 30:1-7, many of them would repent, so the Sovereign, omnipresent and omnipotent Creator of the WHOLE UNIVERSE in grace would restore them from BABYLON and TO the Promised Land, 24:6-7!
        2. Yet, like the basket of rotting figs, those in Judah who remained or who had fled into Egypt to escape Babylon BUT who had NOT REPENTED would be scattered to the Gentiles BY the Sovereign, omnipresent and omnipotent Creator of the WHOLE UNIVERSE, Jer. 24:8-10!
        3. All these things would occur because Judah's God IN CONTRAST TO THE PAGAN BELIEF OF THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH was SOVEREIGN in EVERY land, be it Babylon, Judah or EVEN Egypt! He would mete out judgment WHEREVER sin existed (Judah and Egypt) and blessing WHEREVER repentance arose (Babylon)!
Lesson: When His people failed to HEED God's WORD by which He related to them, and they mixed in with their true beliefs PAGAN ideas, they adopted a view that was OPPOSITE what was REALITY, and God graciously sought to set them straight for their good through His messenger, Jeremiah!

Application: (1) May we HEED SCRIPTURE versus heeding every wind of doctrine that floats about lest WE ALSO adopt a view that misinterprets God's dealings with us to our harm. (2) If we have unwittingly adopted an errant view due to pagan influence, WHEN the LORD sends a MESSENGER to WARN us of that fact, may we check SCRIPTURE to DISCERN the TRUTH for our OWN good!