In Today's Scripture 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) thee 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 thee 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 ye in Mine hand. . . . If it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of 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. 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 ourselves 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).
By Jeremiah's words to God: Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart (Jeremiah 15:16). Jesus said: The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life (John 6:63).
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 Government Official: Rep. Louis Gohmert (TX) Country: Dominican Republic (8 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola Major language: Spanish Religious freedom 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith that God will bless your family (Genesis 17:18-20).
Optional Reading: II Peter 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:7