Jeremiah 18 Commentary
“Don’t I have the right to do with you people of Israel what the potter did with the clay?” What a powerful illustration!
The potter has the picture of what he wants – the purpose or the reason. So he sets out to work the clay and defines the shape, strength, or color of the vessel to serve a specific function. If for some reason one of the parameters fails, he takes the clay and “makes it into something else.”
Israel is the clay. The Creator God is the potter. Israel has turned into something else – the wrong shape, strength, or color. And the LORD explains: that is the only reason I have for my plans. If the pottery turns out good, why not, I would gladly press the green button.
It is impossible to understand the perfection of Heaven. At one point, the scripture presents the LORD as a Father living in real-time with his children. His expectations are clearly shown. He works on His children, doing His best to let them grow into great men and women. So there is management: guidance, patience, discipline, control, teaching, and training.
At another time, probably and confusingly the same time, the LORD is pictured as the Creator God – knowing the end from the beginning. Israel won’t repent, regardless of my best effort as the Father. So destruction it is, for Israel. The LORD provides these ‘messages’ through the same mouth – Jeremiah’s.
To the unbaptized, these messages can be very confusing. So they plan to attack Jeremiah.
Without these messages, Jeremiah is an ordinary man, probably having a social moment with the rest of the people. Let the saints know what differentiates them from the world. The world is after God’s special parcel within each saint. It is nothing personal! Keep it and see what trouble comes!
It is a good reminder for individuals who may be wondering what wrong they have done.
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