Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016
Chapters: Jeremiah 18-21
Message: The Potter And The Clay
Hello My Friend,
Clay, As the sediment (thick substance) of water remaining in pits or in streets. Dry clay is tough, made from the disintegration of felspar (rock) and similar minerals, and always containing silica (sand)and alumina combined in variable proportions. When clay gets wet it becomes smooth, soft, and pliable, you can mold and shape it the way you want, but once it dries it is hard and what you see is what you get. Since we are all made from the earth it is fitting that God would associate us with clay, as long as we are in His hands He will mold and shape us the way He wants us, but if we let go of Him we will dry and harden into something unmanageable. When God is the Potter He makes something beautiful out of us.
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” - Romans 9:21-23.
I made my first and only ceramic dish when I was about ten years old, it was in the shape of a heart, it was exciting to shape, cut out the pieces, mold them together, and watch my dish form into something beautiful after countless tries to get it just right. God is the same way with us, when we choose to allow Him to take control of our lives He finds great joy in shaping and molding us into an image liking to His Son. It is not always easy, and sometimes we are going to mess up His design, but as long as we are on that wheel He will reshape us. This is what God was trying to tell the people of Judah when they were facing judgment, their calamities were only the beginning, and through the illustration of a potter and clay He expresses His grief of those who refused to listen.
“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 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 another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 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. 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.” - Jeremiah 18:2-6,12.
“but we will walk after our own devices,” Rather than listen to God they found no hope at all, set in their ways, they refused to remove the evils from their lives. We must understand that this was not the result of one or two people rebelling against God, this was a multitude of them, priests, workers, kings, princes, laymen, they were all rejecting God and had no remorse whatsoever of the lives they were living. And because they refused to once again, trust God, judgment was coming. Continuing with the vessel, now formed and hardened, God instructs Jeremiah to take it to the elders and show them exactly what was going to happen.
“Thus saith the LORD, Go and get a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the priests; And go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, And say, Hear ye the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.” - Jeremiah 19:1-3,10,11.
“Even so will I break this people and this city,” People who reject Christ will have no where to hide when He places judgment upon that nation or the world. God is very merciful and patient, but a broken and hardened vessel (heart) can never be mended. Those who receive Christ, although they may suffer affliction from the world as part of our being molded and shaped into the image of Christ, will be safe from judgment.
“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” - II Thessalonians 3:3-5.
After years of quandaries from God similar to what Jeremiah was expressing I have come to the conclusion that if you work for God you literally become an enemy to the world, and you will face many hardships. However, great blessings do come in spite of those who try to bring us down, God never ceases to take care of you, even if that means He gives you day by day your daily bread. Jeremiah, after illustrating the broken pot to the elders got arrested by a priest, while grieving a bit he ponders the affliction he was facing fro simply telling the truth.
“Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers. Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?” - Jeremiah 20:13-18.
“that my days should be consumed with shame?” When we are facing affliction through no fault of our own it can bring us to a deep sense of grief and discontent. Jeremiah was not really wishing he were never born, he was just feeling great sorrow over being persecuted simply for speaking God’s Word, he even tried to stop preaching at one point, but God would not allow him to stop. Persecution is often one of the elements that God uses to mold and shape us, He does not do it to punish us, but to build us. Remember, our body might be tempted and tried, but our soul cannot be touched, so while we may suffer in this life, those who reject Christ have much more more suffering, body and soul. As Jeremiah continues in his grief God sends him to the king when he sought answers from God.
“And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy. And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.” - Jeremiah 21:5-9.
“Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” We may not understand God’s ways, we may not understand why we struggle just trying to live a decent and moral life, we may not understand why we are hated, but we can understand that God always has a reason for what He allows and His way always leads to life. In our lifetime on earth, God molds, shapes, flattens, and makes us into the image of His Son, and it is the trials that we go through that form us. We need not fear anything man can do to us because no matter what happens we will be with Christ.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” - Matthew 10:28-31.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.” - Jeremiah 21:8. Jesus has the keys of life and death, those who receive Him get life after death.
Today's Prayer: God, I realize that every thing I go through is not always a punishment, but simply You molding and shaping me into the image of Your Son. I know that there is no way I will ever be perfect, but I have Your perfect Son in me to help me be the vessel You want me to be. Lord, give me Your power to endure the struggles I face, Your strength to stand with You through them all, mold me and shape me so I can be used of You for what purpose You need me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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January 18, 2017 07:51 AM PST
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January 15, 2017 04:42 AM PST
We may not understand God’s ways, we may not understand why we struggle just trying to live a decent and moral life, we may not understand why we are hated, but we can understand that God always has a reason for what He allows and His way always leads to life.
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