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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

God repairs His people

Jeremiah 18:4 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.

  1. God illustrates His truth to His people

  2. It is God showing Jeremiah how to explain God’s message to God’s people Jeremiah 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

  3. God will teach truth using everyday pictures for His people Jeremiah 18:2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

  4. Jeremiah saw the potter working with the clay Jeremiah 18:3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

  5. The center of the story is not the clay but the potter who is at work

  6. The potter is in charge and the clay has His full attention

  7. The clay had a problem Jeremiah 18:4 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.

  8. It was the potter that had gathered the clay

  9. When the potter found the problem, He didn’t throw the clay away

  10. He just reworked the clay into something that pleased Him

  11. Was there something in clay that needed to be removed or was the clay too hard to work with?

  12. Regardless, the potter continued working with the clay

  13. Think of the work of the potter

  14. He dug up mud and made something beautiful from it

  15. The clay couldn’t make itself into anything of value

  16. The potter shows loving attention to the clay

  17. The potter decides what to make from the clay

  18. The marred clay isn’t thrown away. Instead, He remakes something of value from it

  19. Then the Lord makes it clear that He is speaking of the nation of Israel and how He is at work with His people Jeremiah 18:5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 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.

  20. God wants the nation of Israel to know that He can do with a nation anything He wants to do Jeremiah 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

  21. God rules over the nations

  22. Jeremiah is to tell them that just like the potter is in charge of the clay, God is in charge of the nation

  23. God reminds the nation that He really just wants them to do right Jeremiah 18:8 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.

  24. The nation will determine what God does with them

  25. If they disobey, God will not do the good He wants to do Jeremiah 18:9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 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.

  26. This preaching, this challenge, should cause them to turn from their evil and do right Jeremiah 18:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

  27. The people chose to go their own way Jeremiah 18:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

  28. They chose not to trust God, no hope that He would really work

  29. They decided they knew best, not God

  30. They imagined from a proud heart that didn’t need God

  31. God warns His people

  32. God is in charge

  33. They decide to repent or rebel

  34. God wants the best for them but they continue in their rebellion

  35. God responds to their rebellion

  36. Hard to believe that God’s people would treat God the way they are Jeremiah 18:13 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

  37. Even the pagans know that Israel is treating God horribly

  38. No one else treats their god like Israel is treating God Jeremiah 18:14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

  39. Would anyone walk away from their source of life?

  40. Would anyone leave the most refreshing part of their life?

  41. Israel, Judah, God’s people, have done that

  42. God’s people have turned from Him to nothingness Jeremiah 18:15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

  43. God’s people walked away from Him to worship emptiness

  44. These false gods cause God’s people to stumble

  45. God’s people are out of the highway of blessing and on side roads that lead to hurt and pain

  46. God’s response is to leave them to the consequences of their decisions Jeremiah 18:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

  47. God will scatter His people, they will be taken from their land into captivity

  48. God will not answer them when they are hurting

  49. Instead of blessing, God will show them His back

  50. The people hated the messenger because of his message Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

  51. They get together and plan to destroy Jeremiah

  52. They will do it with false accusations and gossip

  53. They are determined to not obey the preached word

  54. What does God say about us right now?

  55. Does our rebellion shock even the pagans?

  56. Are we looking for love in all the wrong places?

  57. Do we say that the Word of God doesn’t work for us?

  58. Jeremiah responds to the people

  59. Jeremiah calls on God to watch what is happening Jeremiah 18:19 Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

  60. The real contention wasn’t with Jeremiah, but with God

  61. Jeremiah took too much on himself as he tries to get God to take care of him

  62. Jeremiah wants God to remember his good works Jeremiah 18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.

  63. God will you let them do me wrong after I tried to help them

  64. They want to hurt me

  65. Remember that I spoke to you asking your blessings on them

  66. So now I am mad and want them dead Jeremiah 18:21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.

  67. They want to hurt me so I ask you to kill their children with hunger

  68. Let them die bloody deaths stabbed with swords

  69. Let their wives hurt from their children dying

  70. Kill their husbands

  71. Let their young men die

  72. God do not give them a break Jeremiah 18:22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.

  73. God they have plotted to hurt me so hurt them for me

  74. Bring enemy soldiers to kill them

  75. Do not forgive them Jeremiah 18:23 Yet, Lord, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

  76. God, you know their plans to kill me

  77. Do not forgive them

  78. Destroy them in your anger

  79. Even Jeremiah overreacts when he is hurting

  80. Jeremiah no longer wants the people to hear and repent

  81. Jeremiah wants them dead

  82. Jeremiah wants God to know that he has been faithful and deserves God to punish the people

  83. Do we ever overreact?

  84. Do we ever forget our purpose and think mostly of ourselves?

  85. Applications to take home:

  86. God makes His truth very clear to be obeyed or disobeyed as in the illustration of the potter

  87. Make sure you pay attention to the fact that this potter and clay story is not really about individuals but a nation

  88. God is in charge

  89. The nation of Israel is the clay

  90. God determines what to do even with our country

  91. You are the clay

  92. Even in the very harsh preaching from Jeremiah, God was calling His people to repent because He really wanted to bless them

  93. How are we responding to God working in our lives right now?

  94. Have we become angry, defensive, selfish, in response to all that is happening in our lives?

  95. God fixes marred vessels

  96. God is still at work in your life

  97. Remember Moses

  98. Remember Jonah

  99. Remember Peter

  100. God can take the mess you made and fix it

  101. Remember to be willing to allow Him to work

  102. Be pliable, stop resisting

  103. Ask God to mold and make you

  104. Yield to His work in your life

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