Jeremiah 24 God showed Jeremiah a vision of two baskets of figs to reveal His plan. First, King Nebuchadnezzar rounded up and carted off the most favored craftsmen, the young and wise students. Surely those taken were the worst of the worst or the rotten figs, and the ones left behind were the best of the best—the good figs, right? How often we draw the wrong conclusion. God removed the best “figs,” Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Three Hebrews, to a place of protection—Babylon. He knew what Nebuchadnezzar would do, so He removed His good figs far from the calamity. Those left behind thought they were undoubtedly the best of the best, but God sent Jeremiah to say to those left in Jerusalem; you are the rotten figs.
Romans 8:28 reminds us that “Truly all things do work together for good to those who love God.” In Babylon, the “good fig’s” faith grew and their desire to acknowledge God as Lord. He used that time to prepare Nehemiah to return and rebuild the wall and Ezra to return to teach in Jerusalem. What about the rotten figs? Just like we would toss rotten figs to the garbage heap, God would banish them. God allowed foreigners to scatter them around the globe, or they died there—all because of disobedience and no love for God.
It’s easy to look and draw conclusions. Take a moment and ask, which fig am I? Will I edify or ruin the barrel?