God SETS His EYES on US to DRAW us to HIMSELF
August 14 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 22-24
"Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: 'Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, 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.'" (Jer. 24:5-7)
As a setting for this prophetical utterance, God showed Jeremiah two baskets of figs set in front of the temple. One basket contained very good figs and the other contained very bad figs. The good figs pictured the exiles in Babylon who would be brought back to the land because they would return to God with their whole heart. They were identified with the deported exiled Jews whom God had set apart for good. God would bring back these captives, establish them in the land, and multiply their crops. Above all, God would give them a heart to know Him and draw them to Himself!
The fact that God had set His eyes on the deported Jews to draw them to Himself is surprising since the people of Jerusalem believed that those in captivity had been forsaken by God. Yet God promised to “watch over” the remnant in captivity and restore them in their land. God also promised to give them a new heart so they would know Him and return to Him. We now know that these promises were made to usher in a new covenant with the people of Israel (see Jer. 31:31–34). Also, the full blessings of fellowship promised by God would be fulfilled only when God again would gather Israel at the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign on earth (Matt. 24:29–31).
When the people of Israel finally return to God, He will give them new “whole hearts”. This will happen when their entire lives are dedicated to God with an absolute commitment to the divine covenant. They will then experience true spiritual regeneration since only God can create this source of new life within the nation of Israel and within every individual who turns in faith and trust in Jehovah God. Let us note that God’s blessing upon the exiles would be both physical and spiritual. Physically, the captives would be brought back into the land. Spiritually, the captives would be given a new heart to return to the Lord and serve Him.
When we apply this prophetical word to our lives, we should be clear that God has set His eyes upon us as well to draw us to Himself as well: "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chron. 16:9) Day and night God’s eyes are upon us, and He desires to have an intimate fellowship with us at all times. Are we willing to acknowledge God in every area of our lives today and always?