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Vol.  10  No. 1 January 2008  Page 6
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Wisdom's Corner (Youth Page) By Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorter

First Ripe Fig

    “And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up” (Isaiah 28:4). Isaiah is prophesying of the fall of the northern kingdom, Israel. He is telling them that they are going to be destroyed. This destruction will be swift. There is nothing that they can do to prevent it, except repent and turn to God.

    The ‘hasty fruit’ mentioned in verse four is from the Hebrew for first ripe fig. The first figs to ripen were eagerly anticipated. There had been no fresh fruit for months, and the people were always eager to eat fresh fruit. When the first figs were ripe, people would pick them off the tree and gulp them down. They ate them very quickly because they loved the taste. Each of us probably has some food that we tend to gulp down.

    Isaiah says that Israel will be gulped down like that first ripe fig. Their destruction will be very fast. The enemy will see their treasures and eagerly and easily take them. The people will be taken captive. Isaiah was very sad to tell the people about this. Yet, the people made fun of him. They did not listen.

    Many people will be just like Israel. They will not follow and obey God. They will be gulped down by Satan at the final Judgment. God will allow them to go to hell. It will be fast. Satan will eagerly take them.

    Do not be a first ripe fig to Satan. Do not be like the Israelites. Study your Bible. Learn what is needed to obey God. Then obey him, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Eating Up the Sin of the People

    Under the Mosaical Law, the priests were allowed to eat a portion of animal sacrifice of certain sacrifices. The animal would be boiled in water. The priest was allowed to put a three pronged fork into the pot. Whatever he was able to pull out with his fork was considered his to eat.

    The prophet Hosea gave the Israelites the word of condemnation from God. In 4:8, God says that the priests “eat up the sin of my people.” The priests were setting their hearts on the iniquity of the people. The priests of the northern kingdom were so wicked they were encouraging the people to sin. The more the people sinned, the more animal sacrifices the people would bring to cover their sins. The more animal sacrifices brought, the more the priests would get to eat.

    There are some religious organizations that have done similar things throughout time. Some would allow people to pay money to cover their sins. A person could even pay ahead of time to cover sins that were going to be committed. The religious leaders became very wealthy by doing this.

We should never encourage anyone to sin. We should only discourage sin. We should do all we can to help others avoid sinning.

    Do not be like the evil priests and the evil people of Hosea’s time. Study your Bible. Learn what to do to obey God, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

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