10 Dec. Jeremiah 18:1-12

10 Dec. Jeremiah visits the potter’s house

“This is the word the LORD spoke to Jeremiah. ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and I will give you my message there.’ So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working at the potter’s wheel. He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be.”

“Then the LORD spoke his word to me: ‘Family of Israel, can’t I do the same thing with you?’ says the LORD. ‘You are in my hands like the clay in the potter’s hands. There may come a time when I will speak about a nation or a kingdom that I will pull up by its roots or that I will pull down to destroy it.’”

“’But if the people of that nation stop doing the evil they have done, I will change my mind and not carry out my plans to bring disaster to them. There may come another time when I will speak about a nation that I will build up and plant. But if I see it doing evil by not obeying me, I will change my mind and not carry out my plans to do good for them.’”

“’So say this to the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: I am preparing disaster for you and making plans against you. So stop doing evil. Change your ways and do what is right.” But the people of Judah will answer, “It won’t do any good to try! We will continue to do what we want. Each of us will do what his stubborn, evil heart wants!”’”

          (Jeremiah 18:1-12)

 

 

In Chapter 13 of the Book of Jeremiah, God despaired of persuading his people to mend their ways: "Can a person from Cush [in North Africa] change the colour of his skin? Can a leopard change his spots? In the same way, Jerusalem, you cannot change and do good, because you are accustomed to doing evil." (Jeremiah 13:23)

In today’s passage from Chapter 18, the LORD followed a similar theme when he instructed Jeremiah to visit the potter’s house. Jeremiah was given the LORD's message by watching the potter moulding clay: "He was using his hands to make a pot from clay, but something went wrong with it. So he used that clay to make another pot the way he wanted it to be. Then the LORD spoke his word to me: "Family of Israel, can't I do the same thing with you?" (Jeremiah 18:4-6) 

God argued that it ought to be possible for Judah to change its ways and be moulded into something new – how the LORD wanted them to be. But once again, he despaired of the descendants of Jacob: “’This is what the LORD says: I am preparing disaster for you and making plans against you. So stop doing evil. Change your ways and do what is right.’ But the people of Judah will answer, ‘It won’t do any good to try! We will continue to do what we want. Each of us will do what his stubborn, evil heart wants!’” (Jeremiah 18:12)

Later in Chapter 18, Jeremiah complained to the LORD that the people of Jerusalem were hatching plots against him because they didn’t like his message from God: "Lord, you know all about their plans to kill me. Don't forgive their crimes or erase their sins from your mind. Make them fall from their places; punish them while you are angry." (Jeremiah 18:23)

The photo (by Soyer Isabelle) shows a potter moulding clay into shape.

You can read more from Chapters 11-18 of the Book of Jeremiah @  The Bible Journey | Plots are hatched against Jeremiah


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