A London Minister
One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs…
I. THE SAME NATION MAY CONTAIN TWO DISTINCT CHARACTERS, YET BOTH MAY BE EQUALLY INVOLVED IN A NATIONAL VISITATION. There are laws of retribution m operation in relation to nations which, so far as the outward condition is concerned-, are no respecters of persons.
II. SUBMISSION TO DIVINE CHASTISEMENT WILL LEAD, IN TIME, TO DELIVERANCE FROM IT, WHILE RESISTANCE WILL BRING RUIN. Two members of a family may be suffering from the same disease; the physician will insist upon submission to his treatment from both his patients. If one refuses, he must not complain of the physician, supposing he grows worse. God desired to heal the Jewish nation of its idolatrous tendencies; for this purpose He had decreed that it should go into captivity. Those who submitted willingly are hem promised that the discipline should be "for their good," and that they should be brought again to their own land; while those who resisted, would be "consumed from off the land that He gave unto them and their fathers."
1. In this life retribution to nations is more certain than to individuals. God can deal with individual characters in any world, therefore we sometimes find the greatest villains apparently unmarked by Him now.
2. Outward circumstance is no standard by which to judge God's estimate of character. Job's friends were not afflicted as he was, but God esteemed him far more highly than He did them.
3. Moral crime is commercial ruin to a nation. Israel lost God first, and then her national prosperity and greatness. A body soon decays when the life has departed, and a putrid carcase will soon be visited by the birds of prey.
(A London Minister.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.