“One basket had delicious figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten”. Jeremiah 24:2.

God’s mercy means “ opening yourself to the life-changing gift”- (Mathew Schmalz). The depiction of the good figs was to exhibit God’s mercy beyond measure to the people of Judah.

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God invites his people to return to him and find restoration. God’s mercy is much bigger than our failures. It opens us to life-changing possibilities. What can God’s mercy do for you?

God’s mercy watches over His people.

Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my eyes on them for good. (Jeremiah 24:5-6)

God’s mercy is much bigger than the failures of his people. God’s gaze was constantly upon his people, and by God’s will, he would see them as good.

God’s mercy strengthens His people.

I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. (v. 6)

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The figs in the vision are an offering placed before the temple. The people of Judah are that offering. God’s purpose is to strengthen and not weaken them because of their wrongdoings. God will use the offering for good, into that which he desires.

God’s mercy transforms His people.

I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. (v. 7).

The people of Judah are so significant to God that by God’s own desire, they will be transformed, and that urge to do so remains in them. Forgiveness is at the core of God’s mercy, and it is a gift of God to humankind.

The mention of figs in Scripture always represents the quality, which is naturally good; in simple terms, no person is inherently bad, and when we come into God’s temple, we only offer good to him. 

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God’s mercies are new every morning. In his mercy, God watches over us, builds and transforms us.

By his grace, we are made worthy in God’s sight to offer ourselves as good figs before God. We need God’s mercy now more than ever before. You and I can avail of God’s mercy.

photograph by Ashna on pixahive
Rev Emerson Carmel is serving as Presbyter at John Wesley Methodist Church, Goa, India.