Jeremiah 15 -- 18
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). It should be no surprise to read that great loss occurred when the Israelites rejected God and His Word as their way of life. 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 Lord of patience and love also 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).
The God of mercy spoke to His faithful servant Jeremiah, saying: Go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words. Then I (Jeremiah) 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, as it seemed good to the potter to make (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 refused to believe Jeremiah, saying: We will each do the imagination of his evil heart (18:12). This simply meant that they defiantly continued to live as they wanted to rather than submit to what God would have them do.
Jeremiah was sent to the potter's house to gain a clear understanding of the Israelites' problems, as well as to learn their final outcome. Almighty God, as the Master Potter, has the supreme right and power to do as He will with each of us since we are His creation. However, by His very nature, the Lord expresses perfect love, holiness, wisdom, and justice. Furthermore, man is more than mere clay. 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 nostrils the breath (spirit) of life (Genesis 1:26; 2:7).
When the vessel (His chosen people whom He had made of clay) 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.
As a nation, 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 the people were taken into captivity. After 70 years of captivity (Jeremiah 25:11), God made the clay into yet another vessel, as the few repentant Jews forsook their idols and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and worship Him. We too are like earthen vessels, and God has a special plan for each of us to be a vessel of honor for His use. Regardless of the present state of your vessel, whether it is marred or even broken into pieces by sin or circumstances, the good news of the Gospel is that, if you will today yield yourself to the Master Potter, with loving hands He will mold you again into another vessel prepared to contain and express the very 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).
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).
15:1 stood before me means stood interceding for them; be toward means be favorable to; 15:3 four kinds means four kinds of judgment; 15:6 repenting means giving you another chance; 15:9 given up the ghost means died; 16:7 tear themselves means prepare food, break bread; 17:6 heath means dry bush; 17:8 careful means concerned; 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 unmarked paths of sin, not on a highway to life; 18:17 show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity means refuse to notice their distress.
BPM Staff: Linda Rathbone · Pray for United Prayerline Ministry and Edith J. Cain · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by one of the Lord's stewards · Country: Austria (8 million) in central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray, through the Name of Jesus Christ, for it is by Him that we have access to God in prayer (Ephesians 2:18).
II Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:9