A final example to illustrate the need of illustrations is when Jeremiah saw two baskets of figs before the temple of the Lord, Jeremiah 24:1-10.? The one basket had ?very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe,? and the other had very bad figs, ?which could not be eaten, they were so bad.?? The good figs are described as those that were ?first ripe;? figs that were the first harvested (at the end of June) were a prized fruit.? This God pointed out in Jeremiah concerned the captivity again, but this time in a different sense.? The difference concerned the precise time when Jeremiah saw the figs.? The time was just after Jehoiachin had been taken captive and Zedekiah had been put in his place.? (It is to be remembered that none but a descendant of David was to set on the throne?Zedekiah was not of Judah).?
???? God said the good basket of figs represented those who had just been taken away.? God would set His eyes on these for good in their captivity and bring them again to their own land in due time.? He would build them and not pull them down; He would plant them and not pluck them up.? In contrast, those taken away would suffer hardship would become a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places where God would drive them, vs.9.? It was a greater blessing to have been taken captive than to have been left in the deserted land.
???? There is a problem that some have voiced and not understood concerning legalism and spiritualism in the Lord?s Church.? The rise in the past 20-40 years of charismatic movements within the Church of Christ should have concerned some of our brethren to a study of just what was causing such a crescendo of emotionalism coming many times in the Colleges where future preachers were being trained!!? In the 17th century the dead worship of Episcopalians gave rise to the extreme emotionalism of the Wesleys, John and Charles, who were Episcopalian priest writhing in the pulpit trying to put a little ?life? in the preaching. ?The results were that they started the Methodist Church.? The latest ?Boston Movement? among the Lord?s people is caused by the same problem?spiritless preaching!!? We must concern ourselves with great emphasis on the teaching of the Word but not to omit the spirit and thrill that must accompany that delivery.? As has been mentioned, the prophets URGED the people to conform their lives to the Law with heart-stirring examples.? The writing prophets have much for us to hear.? Amos cries, ?Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, ?Bring and let us drink.?? Amos 4:1?? Isaiah proclaims ?Woe, unto them that decree unrighteous decrees?to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!? Isaiah 10:1-2?? ?Come, and let us return to the Lord? Hosea 6:1?? Micah pleads, ?Hear ye now what the Lord saith?? Micah 6:1? They went after the HEART with the truth embedded in the message.
???? The prophets plead the cause of the Lord.? Samuel?s came early in life, when he was called upon to tell Eli God?s judgment upon his wayward household (1 Samuel 3:1-18).? His persistent reforming efforts with the people were crowned with success in a clear decision for God on their part at Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7:1-14).? The ?man of God? urged reform to Jereboam (1 Kings 13:1-10), Hanani did the same with Asa.? 2 Chronicles 16:7-9? ?In preaching, the prophets had no ?dead externalism? or acted like robots, they got to the ?heart? in the matter!!. Isaiah 1:11-14; Amos 5:21-24, they allowed the Spirit in the message!!? Truth and Power, delivered, uncovers man?s sins and demands repentance!!