Bible Pathways 08/18/04
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- 2004 Aug 18
Read Jeremiah 15 - 18
In Today's Reading:
Jeremiah's prayer; signs of Judah's captivity; Sabbath regulations; lesson from the potter; God's absolute power over the nations
The LORD said, Verily (Truly) . . . I will cause the enemy to entreat (treat) you well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction (Jeremiah 15:11). But, when the Israelites rejected God and His Word as their way of life, they forfeited the privilege of His protection and suffered tragic spiritual and physical loss.
To understand the Israelites' problems and their final outcome, Jeremiah was sent to the potter's house to see a live illustration of what God was about to do. God said to Jeremiah: Arise, and 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 wrought (was making) a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred (ruined) in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it (18:2-4). Then the Lord said: O house of Israel. . . . as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand. . . . If it (Israel) do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of (grieve over) the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them (18:6,10).
When the vessel (God's chosen people) was marred in the hand of the potter, it was the hardness within the clay itself and not the failure of the potter that made the vessel worthless. Israel had rejected the will of God and was marred (hardened) by its sin. Consequently, the vessel, Israel, was broken and taken into captivity by Babylon, a nation used as the instrument of God to execute judgment. After 70 years of captivity (25:11), God made the clay into another vessel which was the small group of Jews who willingly 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 we too are distorted by sin. When we yield ourself to the Master Potter, with loving hands He will mold us again into another vessel, one better prepared to contain and express the Presence of Christ Himself. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17).
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, they 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; Psalm 139:23-24; Revelation 2:23).
15:1 be toward = be favorable to; 15:6 repenting = grieving over and giving you another chance; 17:10 try the reins = test the heart; 18:11 frame = prepare; 18:15 in a way not cast up = on paths of sin, not ways of righteousness.
Pray for BP Staff: Charity Ryan · Country: Namibia (2 million) in southwest Africa · Major languages: Afrikaans and German · Religious freedom · 68% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 5% African traditional religions
Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for the spiritual rest that is in Him (Hebrews 4:9-10).
Optional Reading: II Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9