Jer 24:4-7 “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an 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 unto me with their whole heart.”
The prophet Jeremiah had been given a vision from God after that some of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem were taken into Babylonian captivity. In this vision two baskets of figs were set before the temple of God. One basket contained figs that were what we would refer to as “Grade A” and the other contained figs that were not fit to eat.
When the LORD asked Jeremiah what he saw, his reply was only that he saw two baskets of figs, one good and the other bad. Jeremiah did not see the people represented by these figs until God revealed it to him. Then and now, we do not grasp the meaning of God’s word until it pleases Him to show it to us according to His purpose.
As you read through these verses, notice the focus of God’s revelation and promise. At no point does He say “if they” or “when they” meet certain conditions. At no point did He transfer the bad figs to the good basket or indicate that He would give them any further opportunity to become good. His focus was on what He would do according to His own righteous judgement.
God showed Jeremiah that just as he had judged one basket of figs to be very good that He would also care for a remnant of the captives of Judah. In this acknowledgement He made it plain that Nebuchadrezzar did not take these into captivity, but rather that He sent them into captivity. Furthermore, He assures that this was done for their good. Now would be a good time to remember Paul’s words to the Roman’s that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).”
God not only says that the captivity was for their good. He then declares that He will set his eyes upon them for good, return them to their own land, build them and plant them and not bring destruction anymore. He promises they will have a heart to know who He is. He will own them as His own and they will serve Him wholeheartedly.
Precious child of God, has He ever sent you into captivity? Do you know what it’s like to feel displaced? Rest assured that if God has sent you into a place, regardless of how it looks on the surface, He had done it for your good. If He has sent you for your good, then He is looking on you for good. He will return you to the kingdom He has promised you and will build you up.
You will bear fruit unto the Lord and not fear destruction. He will reveal Himself in your heart that you may know Him in ways you never imagined. He will cause you to know that you are His child and He is your God. With your whole heart you will return to serve Him. This is the work and will of God.
May we rejoice even when we find ourselves in captivity knowing that God has sent us for our good that we may return and serve Him with our whole heart!