24 After King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had deported Jeconiah[a] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, the officials of Judah, and the craftsmen and metalsmiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord. 2 One basket contained very good figs, like early figs, but the other basket contained very bad figs, so bad they were inedible. 3 The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I said, “Figs! The good figs are very good, but the bad figs are extremely bad, so bad they are inedible.”
4 The word of the Lord came to me: 5 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Like these good figs, so I regard as good the exiles from Judah I sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6 I will keep my eyes on them for their good and will return them to this land. I will build them up and not demolish them; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God because they will return to me with all their heart.
8 “But as for the bad figs, so bad they are inedible, this is what the Lord says: In this way I will deal with King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem—those remaining in this land or living in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them an object of horror and a disaster to all the kingdoms of the earth, an example for disgrace, scorn, ridicule, and cursing, wherever I have banished them. 10 I will send the sword, famine, and plague against them until they have perished from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.”
The Seventy-Year Exile
25 This is the word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon). 2 The prophet Jeremiah spoke concerning all the people of Judah and all the residents of Jerusalem as follows: 3 “From the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until this very day—twenty-three years—the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you time and time again,[b] but you have not obeyed. 4 The Lord sent all his servants the prophets to you time and time again,[c] but you have not obeyed or even paid attention.[d] 5 He announced, ‘Turn, each of you, from your evil way of life and from your evil deeds. Live in the land the Lord gave to you and your ancestors long ago and forever. 6 Do not follow other gods to serve them and to bow in worship to them, and do not anger me by the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.
7 “‘But you have not obeyed me’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘with the result that you have angered me by the work of your hands and brought disaster on yourselves.’
8 “Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says: ‘Because you have not obeyed my words, 9 I am going to send for all the families of the north’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘and send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will bring them against this land, against its residents, and against all these surrounding nations, and I will completely destroy them and make them an example of horror and scorn, and ruins forever. 10 I will eliminate the sound of joy and gladness from them—the voice of the groom and the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land will become a desolate ruin, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 When the seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, and I will make it a ruin forever. 13 I will bring on that land all my words I have spoken against it, all that is written in this book that Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 For many nations and great kings will enslave them, and I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.’”
The Cup of God’s Wrath
15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from my hand and make all the nations to whom I am sending you drink from it. 16 They will drink, stagger,[e] and go out of their minds because of the sword I am sending among them.”
17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink from it.
18 Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah, its kings and its officials, to make them a desolate ruin, an example for scorn and cursing—as it is today;
19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his officers, his leaders, all his people,
20 and all the mixed peoples;
all the kings of the land of Uz;
all the kings of the land of the Philistines—Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod;
21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites;
22 all the kings of Tyre,
all the kings of Sidon,
and the kings of the coasts and islands;
23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all those who clip the hair on their temples;[f]
24 all the kings of Arabia,
and all the kings of the mixed peoples who have settled in the desert;
25 all the kings of Zimri,
all the kings of Elam,
and all the kings of Media;
26 all the kings of the north, both near and far from one another;
that is, all the kingdoms of the world throughout the earth.
Finally, the king of Sheshak[g] will drink after them.
27 “Then you are to say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk, and vomit. Fall down and never get up again, as a result of the sword I am sending among you.’ 28 If[h] they refuse to accept the cup from your hand and drink, you are to say to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: You must drink! 29 For I am already bringing disaster on the city that bears my name, so how could you possibly go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth. This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.’
Judgment on the Whole World
30 “As for you, you are to prophesy all these things to them, and say to them:
The Lord roars from on high;
he makes his voice heard from his holy dwelling.
He roars loudly over his grazing land;
he calls out with a shout, like those who tread grapes,
against all the inhabitants of the earth.
31 The tumult reaches to the ends of the earth
because the Lord brings a case against the nations.
He enters into judgment with all humanity.
As for the wicked, he hands them over to the sword—
this is the Lord’s declaration.
32 “This is what the Lord of Armies says:
Pay attention! Disaster spreads
from nation to nation.
A huge storm is stirred up
from the ends of the earth.”
33 Those slain by the Lord on that day will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned, gathered, or buried. They will be like manure on the soil’s surface.
34 Wail, you shepherds, and cry out.
Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.
Because the days of your slaughter have come,
you will fall and become shattered like a precious vase.
35 Flight will be impossible for the shepherds,
and escape, for the leaders of the flock.
36 Hear the sound of the shepherds’ cry,
the wail of the leaders of the flock,
for the Lord is destroying their pasture.
37 Peaceful grazing land will become lifeless
because of the Lord’s burning anger.
38 He has left his den like a lion,
for their land has become a desolation
because of the sword[i] of the oppressor,
because of his burning anger.
Jeremiah’s Speech in the Temple
26 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: 2 “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple and speak all the words I have commanded you to speak to all Judah’s cities that are coming to worship there. Do not hold back a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and turn—each from his evil way of life—so that I might relent concerning the disaster that I plan to do to them because of the evil of their deeds. 4 You are to say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me by living according to my instruction that I set before you 5 and by listening to the words of my servants the prophets—whom I have been sending to you time and time again,[j] though you did not listen— 6 I will make this temple like Shiloh. I will make this city an example for cursing for all the nations of the earth.’”
7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the temple of the Lord. 8 When he finished the address the Lord had commanded him to deliver to all the people, immediately the priests, the prophets, and all the people took hold of him, yelling, “You must surely die! 9 How dare you prophesy in the name of the Lord, ‘This temple will become like Shiloh and this city will become an uninhabited ruin’!” Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah at the Lord’s temple.
10 When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went from the king’s palace to the Lord’s temple and sat at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple.[k] 11 Then the priests and prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man deserves the death sentence because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”
12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people, “The Lord sent me to prophesy all the words that you have heard against this temple and city. 13 So now, correct your ways and deeds, and obey the Lord your God so that he might relent concerning the disaster he had pronounced against you. 14 As for me, here I am in your hands; do to me what you think is good and right. 15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its residents, for it is certain the Lord has sent me to speak all these things directly to you.”
16 Then the officials and all the people told the priests and prophets, “This man doesn’t deserve the death sentence, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God!”
17 Some of the elders of the land stood up and said to all the assembled people, 18 “Micah the Moreshite prophesied in the days of King Hezekiah of Judah and said to all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says:
Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become ruins,
and the temple’s mountain will be a high thicket.’
19 Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah put him to death? Did not the king fear the Lord and plead for the Lord’s favor,[l] and did not the Lord relent concerning the disaster he had pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”
The Prophet Uriah
20 Another man was also prophesying in the name of the Lord—Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words like all those of Jeremiah. 21 King Jehoiakim, all his warriors, and all the officials heard his words, and the king tried to put him to death. When Uriah heard, he fled in fear and went to Egypt. 22 But King Jehoiakim sent men to Egypt: Elnathan son of Achbor and certain other men with him went to Egypt. 23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who executed him with the sword and threw his corpse into the burial place of the common people.[m]
24 But Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
The Yoke of Babylon
27 At the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah[n] son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:[o] 2 This is what the Lord said to me: “Make chains and yoke bars for yourself and put them on your neck. 3 Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon through messengers who are coming to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. 4 Command them to go to their masters, saying, ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Tell this to your masters: 5 “By my great strength and outstretched arm, I made the earth, and the people, and animals on the face of the earth. I give it to anyone I please.[p] 6 So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him. 7 All nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until the time for his own land comes, and then many nations and great kings will enslave him.
8 “‘“As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and does not place its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish by sword, famine, and plague—this is the Lord’s declaration—until through him I have destroyed it. 9 So you should not listen to your prophets, diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers, or sorcerers who say to you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon!’ 10 They are prophesying a lie to you so that you will be removed from your land. I will banish you, and you will perish. 11 But as for the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave it in its own land, and that nation will cultivate[q] it and reside in it. This is the Lord’s declaration.”’”
Warning to Zedekiah
12 I spoke to King Zedekiah of Judah in the same way: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, serve him and his people, and live! 13 Why should you and your people die by the sword, famine, and plague as the Lord has threatened against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you. 15 ‘I have not sent them’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘and they are prophesying falsely in my name; therefore, I will banish you, and you will perish—you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.’”
16 Then I spoke to the priests and all these people, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets. They are prophesying to you, claiming, “Look, very soon now the articles of the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon.” They are prophesying a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin? 18 If they are indeed prophets and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them intercede with the Lord of Armies not to let the articles that remain in the Lord’s temple, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem go to Babylon.’ 19 For this is what the Lord of Armies says about the pillars, the basin,[r] the water carts, and the rest of the articles that still remain in this city, 20 those King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take when he deported Jeconiah[s] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 21 Yes, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the temple of the Lord, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be taken to Babylon and will remain there until I attend to them again.’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’”
Are you a good fig or a bad fig? This is the illustration we read about today. God says he will deal with the bad figs. He will punish them. This reminds of of the good fruit and the bad fruit Jesus talks about in Matthew 12. Jesus says we will be known by our fruit. Today, allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and show you what kind of fruit you are producing for the Kingdom.