THE POTTER AND THE CLAY (JEREMIAH 18:1-11)
I love this passage in Jeremiah, where God uses the example of a potter and his clay to describe how He responds to the hearts of His creation, as He sets up and tears down kingdoms based on how they respond to His call for repentance. As I read this passage, though, two other related scriptures came to mind that caused me to dwell specifically on God's authority and His mercy. I thought about Romans 9 when Paul uses the same analogy of the potter and clay to remind the Romans that they serve a sovereign God. Who, by the way, is the same God we serve! A God who serves no one and who controls everything, a God who should not be trifled with, a God who loves us and has called us according to His good purposes, a God whom we can trust. And this God has every right to mold our lives and circumstances however He wishes. That any of us should experience good from God or be considered a vessel of mercy is incredible! We know ourselves better than anyone and we know how desperate our need is for God's grace and yet how little we deserve it. Also, what better cure for worry and anxiety can we have than to be reminded of the greatness, power, and authority of our God (take a moment to read Job 38-42 if you need a refresher) who has promised to provide us with everything we need to live and serve Him. Things may happen that are outside our control, but they are never outside of His. Our God’s power is ABSOLUTE!
I also thought about the story of Jonah and how the Lord relented of his wrath towards the Ninevites and rebuked Jonah for his lack of compassion towards the people. When God tells Jeremiah that He will spare those who turn from sin and turn to Him, He is not merely speaking hypothetically; He is making a promise. God could have easily decided to call down destruction on Ninevah but He was patient with them. Peter describes this very thing in 2 Peter 3:9 when he says, “the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” And not only was God patient, but He actively pursued the Ninevites as He pursues us and calls us back from our sin even in the midst of our rebellion. Our God’s mercy is UNENDING!
What a GREAT God we serve!