Today you should read: Jeremiah 18
Can the potter not do what he wants with the clay that he is molding?
A majority of Christians would reference Romans 9 when hearing this question but it was asked and answered in today’s devotion as well. Notice how Jeremiah mentions that the clay was spoiled and God would be “just” in simply chucking out the spoiled clay. Instead, God reworks the clay (v. 4) and that reworking may mean allowing God’s people to suffer the consequences of their sin and stubborn hearts (v. 12). Before doing so, once again God encourages them to “amend their sinful ways and deeds” and “return back to the Lord.” (v. 11)
- Are you ignoring God’s voice in any way?
- Do you tend to blame God and the people He uses when you are suffering the consequences of your sin?
Although God never changes, Jeremiah’s attitude toward his people does after faithfully preaching God’s prophesied judgment. Jeremiah has been trying to intercede on behalf of the people and this time he realizes that his message of “Repentance” is falling on deaf ears. As if that wasn’t hard enough, God’s people start to plot against Jeremiah for speaking truth to them (v. 18). Jeremiah finally recognizes that that God’s holy wrath is what it’s going to take to “rework” the spoiled clay instead of what he had hoped for (repentance and mercy) and he accepts God’s will for them in the upcoming judgment (v. 19-23).
- Are you fighting anything that may be God’s will in your life?
- Would you accept God’s will and trust in His sovereignty if you or someone you love has to hit rock bottom in order to see God’s standard of holiness?
Lastly, let’s remind ourselves that, although God says a lot about His expectations for obedience and the consequences we receive for our sin; we can’t necessarily expect the same consequences for our own personal sin and disobedience. Your reading of this blog and seeing the outcome could be God’s grace in your life; the Holy Spirit convicting you and reminding you that there is grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration in repentance and faith RIGHT NOW. Also, just because Jeremiah finally accepts God’s will in His upcoming wrath and judgment (and even somewhat now looks forward to it when he realizes his own life is in danger for being God’s messenger), it doesn’t mean that we wish the same on the people who continually reject, mock or persecute us. Jeremiah knew the upcoming will of God for these people and God confirmed how they were going to refuse to repent so He desired God’s character to be consistent in holiness and justice. We don’t know the future of the people God places in our life; we can just as easily become adopted brothers and sisters in Christ with current enemies of God. God closed the chapter of Old Testament prophets and the unique, divine relationship that allowed them to talk to and be confirmed with God when we received the even greater, perfect prophet, Jesus. In Jesus, God speaks to us and uses us in the same way but we won’t know the outcome for the people we are preaching to until we see God face to face. So don’t give up on yourself or others by taking this chapter out of the context of its time and how God was going to use this wrath to consecrate God’s people so that Jesus can come from them and God will make good on his promises and prophecies.
Posted by: Erik Koliser