Sallah catches the date before it plunges into the mouth, and then the stomach, of his friend, Indiana Jones. “Bad dates,” he warns, and nods toward the floor where lay the dead body of the bad monkey who had been feasting on bad dates. Bad dates will kill you. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the lesson is obvious, don’t eat bad dates. In a vision, God placed two baskets of figs in front of Jeremiah, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” Jeremiah said, “Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten” (Jeremiah 24:3). The lesson is obvious.
Bad leaders are bad figs. God says, “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart” (Jeremiah 23:25-26). God sees everything, and bad prophets and bad leaders will get what is coming to them, but that does not excuse the people. It is easy to blame our leaders, but we are responsible for what we eat. “When a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off’” (Jeremiah 23:33). Bad dates. Don’t eat them.
My Heavenly Father, Your Word is so good, it fills me and sustains me. It is what I live on. That’s what Jesus told me, more than bread, every word from Your mouth gives me a life that is full and vibrant and strong.
May I feast on what the right food, what brings light and life into my world, rather than the dark and empty words that waste to nothing. May I fill myself with words of hope and faith and love, grace and truth, justice and righteousness. Good figs.