God shows His prophet two baskets of figs. One is filled with ripe figs ready to be eaten and the other is filled with rotten figs that have no value at all. God uses this object lesson to reveal His plans for those taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar and those left in Jerusalem who continue to worship false gods and live profane lives. God will bless the captives and turn their hearts back to Him, but He will utterly destroy those inhabitants of Jerusalem that rebel against Him. This chapter is an incredible reminder that God can take the worst of situations and use them to draw us closer to Him and to prepare us for an unbelievable future. Joseph is a perfect example of God taking a tragedy and using it to bring salvation to His people and to the people of the world. He was sold into slavery by his brothers yet God used him to prepare Egypt for a world-wide famine and to protect his family from certain doom. God can do that because He sees what we do not. He is not bound by the chains of time or perspective; instead He is all-seeing and all-knowing. God already saw the famine and prepared His people for it by sending Joseph into slavery. He also knew that Judah would never turn back to Him unless He sent them into captivity. After the seventy years in Babylon, we never again see Israel consumed with idolatry. It disappears from their culture, but it took time and heartache to get there. What is God trying to remove from your life? What is it going to take to make that happen? I am not trying to scare you or guilt you into anything, but I am reminding you that God loves you too much to leave you in your sin. He loves me too much to do so, and He will do everything in His power to get us right where He wants us to be. God did not send Judah into captivity because He hated them; no, God sent them into captivity, because He loved them. He loves you too! What needs to change?

Help me, Lord, to stop seeing the difficult moments as a negative and to start focusing on Your plan in the midst of my pain. Help me to take an inventory of my life and remove what does not honor You so that You do not have to do it for me.