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“Go down to the potter’s house and see how he works.”
(Jeremiah 18:1-11 Focus Verse - Jeremiah 18:1-6)
Jer. 18:2 – “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”
A potter, or pottery maker, is a craft artist who uses their artistic talents to create pots, dishes, mugs, vases, and other types of artwork. Most potters create functional pieces that are meant to be put to everyday use.
Functional is defined as of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates; designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive.
A Specific Place or Location: “The Potter’s House”
God says: “There I will cause you to hear My words.”
According to the dictionary, the word there is an adverb that denotes or indicates place or position.
1. You must meet God at “the appointed place” – at or in a specific place or location of His choosing; the place where He wants to speak to you and commune with you. In the designated place that He has designed (handcrafted) especially and specifically for you so you can hear His voice; His words.
Why do we have to go to a specific place?
2. “I will cause you to hear My words” – You will only hear God’s words b/c He has made your environment and the conditions in the atmosphere just right - conducive for you to hear whose words? – “His words.”
The word cause is defined as: a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition (source, root, origin, basis, foundation, originator, author, creator, producer, agent). Give rise to the action of hearing!
The Potter’s Wheel
Jer. 18:3 – “Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.” ***Jeremiah obeyed – Be Obedient***
Potter’s Wheel - a horizontal revolving disk on which wet clay is shaped into pots or other round ceramic objects.
3. Verse 3 tells me: “God is always working.” Jeremiah didn’t find the potter sitting idly in the potter’s house; doing nothing, twiddling his fingers. The potter was making something.
Sometimes you may get discouraged and feel like “Lord, what are You doing? Are You doing something, anything in this season of my life?” Well I’ve come to tell you today the answer is: “Yes.” God is up to something b/c the Bible tells me that He never sleeps nor slumbers. Why? because He’s making something at the wheel.
Ps. 121:3-4 “He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.” The word shall is a promise.
The Potter’s Clay
Jer. 18:4-5 “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Marred – ruined; profitable for nothing. The clay was not suitable for the potter’s design (poor quality). The potter can make something else from the clay (with that same marred and ruined clay) – but it won’t be the originally intended vessel; what the potter originally set out to make (the expected and intended purpose our results).
4. “We are always in the hands of God” (unless we step out of His hands) - All things are being made new about me; concerning me! “Therefore; if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” 2 Cor. 5:17 KJV.
One turn of the potter’s hand, one turn of the wheel; completely changes the shape of clay - the potter makes it a pot; unmakes it; and makes it again.
God formed us out of clay and we are still like clay in His hands (Is. 64:8).
Dare I say if any man be in God’s hands he is a new creature? Don’t step out of God’s hands – Don’t step out of the will of God.
5. “Be of good quality” - If the clay of poor quality sometimes the potter will reject the pot(s) he made.
The quality of the clay determines what the potter makes. Our response to God – how we respond to Him determines what He will do with us; what He will make of us.
Sometimes the clay can frustrate the potter’s intentions, if and/or when this occurs; the potter will alter the vessel.
Frustrate - prevent (a plan or attempted action) from progressing, succeeding, or being fulfilled.
This is what we sometimes do to God. We frustrate His plans for our lives. In the same manner in which the potter is limited (to what he can do with the clay) due to the quality of the clay; is the same manner in which we limit what God desires to do in us, with us, and through us.
6. “The quality of a people” can limit what God desires to do with them.
What causes a people or person to be of poor quality?
If you read further along in Jeremiah 18 you will find that the people of Israel
1. Decided to walk according to their own plans
2. Obey the dictates of their evil hearts (instead of obeying god)
3. They had forgotten God; and 4. Burned incense to worthless idols.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 NKJV
The people disobeyed God, abandoned God to follow after idols. These things caused then to “stumble in their ways” (Verse 15). Simply put, their issue was sin – sin caused the people of Israel of step out of the will of God limited His work in their lives.
Restoration: The good news is: you don’t have to stay there; in that place – out of God’s will. Time and time again God tells His people to repent, turn from their wicked ways and come back to Him. God gives us a choice and allows space (affords us a window of opportunity if you will) to ask for His forgiveness and follow Him.
Note: Using examples in life, that people can understand and relate to; will help us speak more clearly to the people about the things of God and explain what the Scriptures mean.
I enjoy movies with a meaning and a message, sitting in the park overlooking the water, and eating my favorite ice cream Heavenly Hash.
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