Here we have an object lesson as in the case of the earthen vessel of which we had earlier discussed. It was indicative of a specific time but it also carried an universal lesson meaning that desolations that the nation would meet would not spare the prophet in as much the physical reality of his body suffered the common fate of all. But truth written in his inward parts signified that righteousness of God separated him from the rest. “for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee(Je.1:19)”. It was His promise.
Another important lesson we have drawn has to do with the manner the Spirit catalogues places on the earth, cities where partial judgements would occur Egypt, Sodom Babylon Jerusalem to name a few are juxtaposed to the crucified Lord Savior (Re.11:8). Thus the Spirit is establishing the nature of Atonement. Jesus Christ died for the whole world and not for a few as some sects would teach. (John 3:16). The spiritual underpinning of the Righteous God therefore is established by object lessons. God is Truth which in terms of light makes God the Father of lights. In the creation account when the Spirit writes God separating light from darkness before He set the sun, moon and the stars in the firmament it is a clear giveaway to the diligent reader the divine purpose. There shall be in the end two groups children of light and children of darkness.
It is in this context we have to look at the present object lesson. In order to understand we need go back to the Ch.21 (vv.8-10): And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death./ He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey./ For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”
What the Lord here says is simple. Those who were chastened shall live. And those who cheat exile and disgrace by going to Egypt or any other merely bought reprieve for a time. What they endured in the hands of Chaldeans may be disgusting and fall from grace but if it were accepted as ordained from God they shall find God gathering them after 70 years and they shall be established once more in their homes. Those who refused God’s chastisement as the writer to the Hebrews said they were base and bastards. This is what the two baskets of figs now signify. Perpetual backsliding of the nation and not God who should be blamed for their desolations. This being the case destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD lay in future and we may be certain that they would certainly face dispersion in our century as well. Prophet Jeremiah predicts nature of desolations and these are set in God’s Time. In the end only a remnant shall be found.
Here two baskets of figs and it is interesting to note where these were set. The temple of the Lord is not qualified as of any nation in particular. It is not any building built of the historical time but of eternity.
The Lord shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
3 Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
4 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.