Traditions Of Men Part 14

One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
Jeremiah 24:2-3

Did Jeremiah mean that the “evil” figs were demonic? Absolutely not!

These verses provide us an illustration of the necessity to rightly divide the Word of God. The word evil is rooted in an Old English word that simply mean bad. Jeremiah was contrasting good from bad figs.

The Old Covenant does show God smiting people.

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
2 Chronicles 26:16-21

Uzziah persisted and stepped into a ream that he was not anointed for. He forced the issue and his anger against the priests opened the door for him to be stricken with leprosy.

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
Numbers 12:9-10

Miriam was Moses’ sister. She and Aaron tried to take over. They spoke against Moses and the Lord struck her with leprosy. The condition only lasted for seven days though because Moses interceded for her.

He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
Psalms 78:49

This verse is talking about the death angel which God sent into Egypt resulting in the death of the firstborn. These are examples of Old Testament judgment.

Some people look at these examples and claim they are proof that God is not good. They do not understand that there is a difference between the Old and New Covenants. This difference is much more than the blank page that is in most Bible between Malachi and Matthew!

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Luke 9:51-56

Luke provides us with our first glimpse into what the New Covenant would be like. In the Old God had to deal with mankind based on their sin. This was before Jesus came.

Jesus was set on going to Jerusalem. He had already been in Samaria when He ministered to the woman at the well. These people knew Him but refused to receive Him because they saw He was heading to Jerusalem. The disciple had lived under the Old Covenant and expected Him to call down fire on the crowd.

For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
Luke 9:56

Today God is able to deal with us through the blood of Jesus. Our sins are no longer a factor!

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