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The Washington, D.C. Council voted to pay people not to commit crime. They got the idea from Richmond, CA. In that city, people most likely to commit crimes get paid $9,000 a year—if they stay out of trouble. In 7 years, killings fell 80%, so D.C. is thinking of the same program. Good conduct has rewards just as evil conduct has consequences. We see this principle in what God showed Jeremiah years ago. We read in Jeremiah chapter 24 that God showed the prophet two baskets of figs—one had good figs, the other bad figs. God said to him, “The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians. I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them hearts that recognize me as the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” But God said the bad figs represent all the wicked people left in Jerusalem. He said they will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed. They will suffer war, famine, and disease until they vanish from the land. Still today, God hates and has promised to judge evil and injustice; but He loves justice and good behavior.

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