Arguing with the Potter!
Scripture reading for August 7th: Jeremiah 16-20
“Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:5-6
One of the most interesting object lessons I have seen is that of a potter working on his clay while talking about God’s work on us. Watching as the clay was formed gave me a new appreciation of God’s forming me– and a realization that sometimes I failed to cooperate. How ridiculous is the idea of the clay resisting the potter?
God sent Jeremiah down to the potter’s house and had him watch. As the potter was working, his pot was flawed, and he formed it into another pot, as it suited him. (Jeremiah 18:1-2) God then spoke to Jeremiah about his people being like the clay in the hand of the potter. God was in charge of the clay and the shaping of the vessel that was formed! If the flaws that were in the clay were not eliminated, then the potter would have to reshape the pot! It was as simple as that!
After Jeremiah preached this message, the people plotted against him. They attacked him with their tongues and then ignored him. (Jeremiah 18:18) They had viewed his message as evil and plotted to do away with him! (Jeremiah 18:19-20) Jeremiah became angry and asked God to not forgive them! (Jeremiah 18:23)
In response to all of this, God gave Jeremiah another object lesson. He was to go and buy a pot from the potter and take it to the valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. Ben Hinnom was the city garbage dump where there were fires burning all the time. It was a picture of hell. There Jeremiah was to tell the people about all the ways that they had resisted the hand of their Potter and angered Him. Then he was to smash the pot as an graphic lesson. (Jeremiah 19:1-10)
It doesn’t pay to argue with the Potter! He is in charge and can do with the clay as He pleases. His desire is to make a beautiful vessel of honor for His house. An uncooperative clay pots will end up smashed in the valley of Ben Hinnom!