How To Interpret Your Circumstances

Jeremiah 24.4-10 says, God told me, “This is the Message from the God of Israel: The exiles from here that I’ve sent off to the land of the Babylonians are like the good figs, and I’ll make sure they get good treatment. I’ll keep My eye on them so that their lives are good, and I’ll bring them back to this land. I’ll build them up, not tear them down; I’ll plant them, not uproot them. “And I’ll give them a heart to know Me, God. They’ll be My people and I’ll be their God, for they’ll have returned to Me with all their hearts. “But like the rotten figs, so rotten they can’t be eaten, is Zedekiah king of Judah. Rotten figs—that’s how I’ll treat him and his leaders, along with the survivors here and those down in Egypt. I’ll make them something that the whole world will look on as disgusting—repugnant outcasts, their names used as curse words wherever in the world I drive them. And I’ll make sure they die like flies—from war, starvation, disease, whatever—until the land I once gave to them and their ancestors is completely rid of them. MSG


The good figs, the blessed by God, were those taken as prisoners from Israel. They were the ones who walked in chains to far off Babylon. Nothing about that event could have felt like a blessing. Yet they were the ones God said were blessed, the ones He was watching over, the ones whose hearts He would return to Himself and eventually would have their ancestors return to the Promised Land.


Those who were not taken captive, those allowed to stay in their homes, those who lived in the Promised Land after the conquerors left, were the rotten figs, the ones cursed by God. How strange. No doubt after Babylon left those who remained felt they were the blessed ones. They still had their homes, they still lived in God’s land, they still had their ‘normal’ life.


Our circumstances are not indicative of God’s blessing upon our lives. What looks bad could be the best for us and what looks like a blessing could be a curse upon us. How will we know the difference? We may not exactly but we do need to stay with the Lord. We need to always be praying. We need to always be obeying.


It is so easy to judge life by its ease or blessings rather than by our obedience and fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God. If we want to be God’s man, doing life God’s way, for God’s glory, no matter what then we mustn’t seek the easy life but the obedient life, accepting whatever that life is that God allows upon us.

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