The book of Jeremiah is full of metaphors that God gives to Jeremiah in order to interpret what is coming next for the nation of Israel. Today we have a basket or two of figs. One basket is filled with very good figs and the other basket is filled with really bad figs. As an aside, I do not like figs. Stacy loves figs, Bethany loves figs, I do not like figs. We lived in Italy and right outside of our door we had these beautiful fig trees which gave out beautiful, supposedly, delicious figs. I do not like figs.
But back to the metaphor. God says that the good figs represent the exiles from Israel who went exiled first to the land of the Chaldeans, which was just north of Israel. Keep in mind Jeremiah is writing while there is an exile in progress. Most of the people of Israel have been deported and kicked out of the region with only a small remnant and a puppet king, Zedekiah of Judah, who has remained. God says the good figs are those who were exiled first. They are probably the same people who said in Psalm 137: How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? God loved this people, they still loved God. So they are good figs because God will protect them and keep them and one day they will inherit the land once again.
The bad figs were those who remained in Judah and Israel and were just doing the will of those who had conquered, which included worshiping false gods. They would be utterly destroyed. The bad figs were not even edible. The people who were currently living in the land were not even able to be called children of God they were so corrupt.
This is a song from Don McClain.