If you have been to Israel recently, or if you have done any reading of the history of that nation, you are well aware that, throughout her lifetime, she has gone through countless onslaughts of her enemies by which she was totally devastated. Often her people were driven out and dispersed throughout the world, or they were taken into captivity and enslaved as a people, exiled in a foreign land.

One of these tragic events is referred to as “the Babylonian Captivity.” Amazingly, this disaster was predicted in prophesy by Jeremiah before it occurred, and God told Jeremiah exactly how long they would remain in Babylon – 70 years!

As the Lord gave Jeremiah this revelation, He showed him a simple vision: Right in front of the temple, Jeremiah saw two baskets of figs. One was filled with VERY GOOD figs, “like those that ripen early.” The other was filled with figs “so BAD they could not be eaten.” (Jeremiah 24:2)

Then God described what the vision meant. “The good figs represent the people of Judah whom I have sent into exile. I will watch over them and keep them safe, and I WILL BRING THEM BACK. I will give them a heart to know Me. But the poor figs represent the LEADERS – the king and his officials, the priests and the prophets.” And God said, “These leaders I will make abhorrent, a by-word, an object of ridicule. I will send the sword, famine, and pestilence against them until they are destroyed.” (Jeremiah 24:8-10).

“Weep and wail, you shepherds; Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock.” (25:14). Seventy years foretold! Seventy years fulfilled! TWO GENERATIONS! And it was just as the Lord planned! AND He promised them NEW LEADERS! “Their city will be rebuilt on her ruins. . .Their children will be as in days of old, and their community will be established before Me. . .Their LEADER will be one of their own, their ruler will arise from among them. . .” (Jeremiah 30:18, 20, 22).

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 24, August 1982.