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August 18

Read Jeremiah 15 -- 18





It is amazing how so many people believe that they are good enough or wise enough to know what is best for themselves when the Bible clearly states that it is not in man that walks to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). The Lord of patience and love said: It will be well with your remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat you well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction (15:11). But, when the Israelites rejected God and His Word as their way of life, they suffered great spiritual and physical loss. The Lord said: Your substance and your treasures will I give to the spoil (your enemies) without price, because of all your sins (15:13).

God spoke to Jeremiah: Go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he was working on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again into another vessel (18:2-4). Then the Lord said: Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O House of Israel. . . . If that nation . . . turn from their evil, I will repent (reverse My decision) of the evil that I thought to do to them. . . . If they do evil . . . obeying not My voice, then I will repent of the good, with which I said I would benefit them (18:6,8,10). But the Israelites replied: Every one will do the imagination of his evil heart (18:12). This means that they would live as they wanted to.

Jeremiah was sent to the potter's house to understand the Israelites' problems and their final outcome. God, the Master Potter, has the right to do as He wills with each of His creatures. By His very nature, the Lord expresses perfect love and justice. God said: Let Us (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), make man in Our image, after Our likeness (with a mind and a will of his own) . . . and He breathed into his (Adam's) nostrils the breath (spirit) of life (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Therefore, man is more than mere clay or an animal.

When the vessel (His chosen people) was marred in the hand of the potter, it was the hardness within the clay itself and not the work of the Potter that made the vessel worthless. Israel had resisted the will of God and was marred (hardened) by sin. Therefore the vessel, Israel, was broken by Babylon, the instrument of God, and taken into captivity. After 70 years of captivity (Jeremiah 25:11), God made the clay into another vessel to illustrate the few Jews who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and worship Him. We are like earthen vessels, and God has a special plan for each of us to be a vessel for His use even though marred by sin. When you yield yourself to the Master Potter, with loving hands He will mold you again into another vessel, prepared to contain and express the presence of Christ Himself.

Paul prayed: Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thessalonians 5:22-23).

Christ Revealed: Jeremiah said to God: Your Word was to me the joy and the rejoicing of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16). Jesus said: The words (truths) that I speak to you, . . . are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63). As the One who searches the heart of man and rewards him accordingly (Jeremiah 17:10; Psa. 139:23-24; Rev. 2:23).

Word Studies: 15:1 be toward means be favorable to; 15:6 repenting means giving you another chance; 17:10 try the reins means test the inner-self; 18:11 frame means prepare; 18:15 in a way not cast up means on paths of sin, not ways of righteousness.

Prayer Needs:
Pray for Campus Crusade for Christ and Bill Rogers, counsellor in Romania · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Dr. John Hash and Family · Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia · Major languages: Tajik and Russian · Almost entirely Muslim · 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God even in times of adversity (Acts 16:22-25).

Optional Reading: II Peter 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:40