Sovereign Mercy: the Deciding Factor of Differing Eternal Destinies
For the sake of grasping the full intent of God in the categorical differentiation, the Good Figs and the Evil Figs, one must understand that the Good Figs weren’t good yet. This fact becomes increasingly clear as the first 5 years of Zedekiah’s reign progresses, but it is abundantly clear in the ordination of Ezekiel as a Prophet accounted of in . Note: Ezekiel would not be ordained a Prophet until around 5 years after the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign. Year by year, the Good Figs were not made good nor were they getting better upon hearing Jeremiah’s prophecies concerning them, at least not yet (, , , . For this reason, because the Good Figs weren’t good and because they desired immediate liberation from the Captivity so as to return to the Kingdom of Judah, Ezekiel was ordained (.
When considering the eternal ramifications of being a Jew in Babylon as opposed to a Jew in Jerusalem (when the geography itself was an indicator of eternal destiny), we can be sure that this didn’t happen by happenchance. The populations of the two locations were not the random natural selection of earthly circumstances, no! God was and is the deciding factor, from a sovereign perspective, hence the aforementioned categories were populated person by person according to God’s selection. That being the case, one is made to wonder: how were these choices made? Specifically speaking, how did God choose to carry one to Babylon and leave the other behind?
My reader, suffer this question to be answered before the abundant proof of the utter good-less-ness of the Good Figs is indisputably provided in Ezekiel 1:2-3:21. Wonder for a moment at the sovereignty at work in the choices made to segregate the populations thus. Knowing that there wasn’t any goodness presently in the Good Figs that made them a choice selection in the sight of God, consider the situation in the raw events that took place. Consider the situation from the perspective of the individuals themselves from both locations. Amidst the battle and upon the victories of Babylon in the , , and Captivities, those who were caught even while resisting being taken Captive, and those who were uncaught while resisting being taken Captive, even they both were actively engaged in the same activity of rebellion, albeit, the former had opportunity for mercy and the latter had none. The former was forced into the category and the latter was left alone. The former was arrested by grace and restrained from sin (Ezek. 20:43-44, 36:32, Ps. 103:10), the latter was abandoned while enslaved to sin and left behind (Ps. 106:14-15, Ps. 78:29, Rom. 1:24, 26-27, Ps. 81:12, Hos. 4:17).