Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Potter's House - Jeremiah 18

Jeremiah 18:2 "Arise, and go down to the potter's house; and there I will cause thee to hear my words."

The Bible is full of stories and examples to explain a hard truth. Jeremiah is sent to the potter's house to illustrate to him what is happening to Israel and why. The potter is making a vessel but something is wrong. It is not the potter that is in error.

v4 "And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the Potter to make it."

The vessel was marred. We have to retrace the history of Israel and that of humanity. We must remember the garden where Adam and Eve yielded to temptation putting a stain and impurity into man. We must remember the journey from Egypt where Rachel hid the instruments of idol worship to take on their journey. We must remember the actions of Israel when they entered Canaan and disobeyed by not doing away with ALL the inhabitants. The result was that idol worship was still in the land and it gradually made its way into the lives of the people.

v6 "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD, Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

We might, at first glance, see a potter who was ready to cast aside the piece he was making. But the potter being a professional sees that even though the vessel he intended is not possible, upon turning the clay, he sees another possibility. He does not cast aside the clay but continues to work with it until he creates a second vessel, not the original design but still a vessel. At no time here do we see the clay out of the potter's hand.

v7-8 "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. "

The point here is that it is in the power and the right of the potter to do with as he pleases with the clay. It should be no surprise that the LORD deals kindly with the clay and makes it again. It should also be noted that in remaking the clay, it must be remolded, pulled apart, packed together, flooded with water in just the right places, the impurities plucked out. I am not a potter but I can imagine that it might be necessary to flatten the clay in order to pick out the impurities.

The we go back to the reality of the rebellion of the people.

v15 "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble int heir ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; ....v17 I will scatter them..."

I have but touched on the potter and the clay. To clarify the statement for those who may not have studied the Bible. The Potter is the LORD and we are the clay. He molds us as he sees fit. Can the clay tell the potter what to do? We can no more tell our heavenly Father what to do.

The potter knows the clay.

No comments: