Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 08/18/2002

August 18

Read Jeremiah 15 -- 18

In Today's Reading:

Israel's four kinds of punishment as a result of their sins; Jeremiah's persecution and his prayer; signs of coming captivity; a lesson from the potter; God's absolute power over nations.

Verses for Today:

(God spoke to Jeremiah) Go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work 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. . . . (Then) saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine 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 unto them. . . . If it do evil . . . obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them (18:1-4,6,8,10).

It is amazing how so many people believe 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: 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).

But the Israelites replied: Every one will do the imagination of his evil heart (18:12). This means that they would continue to ignore His Word and were determined to follow their own "good judgment."

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 without an eternal spirit. When the vessel (His chosen people) . . . was marred in the hand of the potter (Jeremiah 18:4), 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 and taken into captivity by Babylon. After 70 years of captivity (25:11), God had made the clay into another vessel, illustrating 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 we are marred by sin. When we yield ourselves to the Master Potter, with loving hands He will mold us again into another vessel, prepared to contain and express the character and purpose 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 (1 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; Psalms 139:23-24; Revelation 2:23).

Word Studies:

15:1 be toward = be favorable to; 15:6 repenting = 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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Senegal (10 million) in western Africa · Major language: French · Religious freedom · 92% Muslim; 4% animism and ancestor worship; 3% Roman Catholic; .1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Boldly and confidently go to God in prayer through Jesus' Name (Ephesians 3:12).

Optional Reading: 2 Peter 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:4

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