Verse 1 – The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord, after Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, and the princes of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
This was a supernatural revelation to the prophet. It happened in a vision and not in reality, because bad figs could not be offered to the Lord.
Verse 2 – One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Verse 3 – Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.”
The good figs represented the exiles to Babylon – not because they were good, but because their hearts would respond to God. He would preserve them and bring them back to the land. The bad figs represented those who would stay in Judah or run away to Egypt.
God would use the captivity of those who went to Babylon, to refine them. When trouble comes in your life, don’t think that it’s a curse or God is mad at you. He will use that time of trouble to refine us. It will make us stronger to handle the next challenge and to help someone else who doesn’t know what to do. We learn to trust the Lord more than ever; ever-increasing our faith in Him.
Verse 4 – Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 5 – “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive form Judah, whom I sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans.
Verse 6 – ‘For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.
These exiles were cared for by the Lord although they were captive, they were not slaves. They could function in business and own homes. See Daniel 2:48, where Daniel held a high position in government.
Verse 7 – ‘Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.
The new heart is something only God can do. He does this throughout scripture and He did it for all those who have been born-again, by accepting His Son Jesus.
Verse 8 – ‘And as the bad figs which cannot be eaten, they are so bad’ – surely thus says the Lord – ‘So will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt.
Verse 9 – ‘I will deliver them to trouble into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their harm, to be a reproach and a by word, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them.
Verse 10 – ‘And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them, till they are consumed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.’ ”
Those who had either stayed or fled to Egypt, had been disobedient to what God had said to do. They hardened their hearts and did what they wanted . God had warned them that some would die by the sword, famine, or pestilence, if they stayed or ran to Egypt.
Sometimes God is doing a work in us for a much bigger purpose that we cant’ see. When we go through difficult times, He’s bringing us to a place of restoration, but only if you’ll let your heart be led by His Spirit.