This is a question that is asked by many, but especially by believers: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
Some find the answer and grow stronger in their faith, while others lose hope and faith in God completely – walking away bitter and broken.
I’m sure the people of Israel had the same question as they were led into captivity. They were torn away from their homes and for 70 years, lived in exile in Babylon. But get this, when God told Jeremiah about this 20 years before it happened, He said that this would be good for them. As in, the exile was specifically for the “good figs.”
To my human mind that doesn’t make sense. Why would God take “very good figs” and exile them, leaving the rotten figs behind? Thus says the Lord:
“Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, to the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a 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 to Me with their whole heart.” -Jeremiah 24:4-7
Whoa. Turns out that God acknowledged those “good figs.” The King of the universe noticed them. But He also foresaw the dangers ahead and so for their own good, He purposely sent them into exile so that they could be planted and so that they would return to Him. Because He just wanted their whole heart.
So, if you’re going through a season of suffering, pain or other difficulties, know that God saw something good in you and He is choosing to preserve that so that when you emerge at the end, you’ll return to Him with your whole heart.