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Two Baskets of Figs

Jeremiah 24:4-7

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Then the word of the LORD came to me: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

Jeremiah 24:4-7 NIV

In this chapter, Jeremiah saw a vision of two baskets of figs. One basket had good figs in it, while the other basket contained bad figs. After Jeremiah saw the vision, God explained the significance of it to him.

The good figs represented the Israelites who had been taken into exile. God would be working for their good and would eventually return them to their land. The basket of bad figs represented the Jews who remained behind in the land. These Jews were facing destruction.

It might be tempting to think that the first group was better than the second. More godly and devoted to God. But that seems not to be the case. Both groups contained faithful and unfaithful Israelites.

God’s Sovereignty

I think, rather, that this is an example of God’s sovereignty at work. He chose the group that went to Babylon to continue his redemptive work through Israel. Just like God sovereignly chose Jacob over Esau, so he sovereignly chose the exiles over those who remained. It had nothing to do with the goodness, or badness, of the two groups. Rather it was just who God chose to further his work.

We don’t always understand why God does what he does, or allows what he allows. But God has his purpose. That purpose does not always work out in our lifetime. For the exiles, it was 70 years before they returned, and much longer before they were really free. That teaches me that I need to be faithful and patient, even when things look bleak.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

4 thoughts on “Two Baskets of Figs – Jeremiah 24:4-7”

  1. God didn’t choose Jacob over Esau. In Gods sovereign knowledge He knew who would be faithful.
    Esau didnt take care of his birth right. God knew Esau couldnt be trusted.

    Jacob was a cheater but he was very passionate about the God whom he heard from his mother.
    God knew that Jacob could be worked upon and he can be brought on track.

    God had chosen Judas. But it was Judas’ choice to choose the things of the world over Jesus.
    God in his foreknowledge knew there would be a betrayer.

    Till the last moment Jesus tried to get Judas back. But Judas chose the other way.

    • Your disagreement over God’s choosing of Jacob is with the Bible, not with me.

      Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” – Romans 9:10-12 NIV


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