Summary: Some times in life we need to start over. We need to allow God to take the mess that we have made and to make us into a useful vessel.
A Fresh Start
Introduction: Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet because his ministry was one that continually caused conflict between him and the people he was sent to preach to. It has been said that Jeremiah never had one convert or anyone to believe in his message. Talk about discouraging. He was not allowed to marry because the burden of the message he carried would cause too much distress on a spouse. In fact after he got the insight and the message that God wanted him to receive from the potter’s house and after he preached the message that God wanted him to preach he was put in stocks and humiliated. Maybe we as preachers and Christians today are not preaching the right message for today’s society. Maybe if we were truly preaching what needed to be preached we would be facing more conflict and opposition. I believe Christ said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword.
You say that maybe the world and society are not as bad as they were in Jeremiah’s time. We’ll the reason that God had destroyed Israel and would now destroy Judah was because of idolatry. Forsaking the One True God and serving pagan gods and idols. I believe, from my own personal experiences, that there is a lot of idolatry happening today. We are putting many material and physical things in our lives before we put the things of God in our lives. My professor Dr. Jack Partain taught at the seminary over in Kenya and he said that he was always preaching to the locals about worshipping the dead and worshipping idols. He said that he brought a young ministerial student to America around Mother’s day and they passed a cemetery that was all decorated and the students said to him, “I thought you did not worship the dead. We might say that we do not worship the dead or idols or other gods but if we invited someone from another culture to come over, maybe they could enlighten us as to what they see in our lives. Maybe they could point out the idols in our lives as easily as we point out the idols in their lives. What idols do you put in your life before putting the things of God? Is it TV, Sports, Facebook, Work, or even family. Wonder how our life, our church and our community would be different if we truly did not have idols and we put God first?
God was using Jeremiah to point out Judah’s sins, wickedness and idolatry. God told Jeremiah to go to the Potter’s House and there he would receive God’s word and the message he was to deliver. I believe it is important to note that Jeremiah did not get his flash of insight while he was praying but while he was watching a potter engaged in his daily work," "God reveals Himself in strange places and at unexpected seasons. For instance, He once revealed Himself in a stable."[
What did Jeremiah learn when he went to the Potter’s House-What insight did he gain? It is really a pretty simple revelation-it is simply that God has to start all over with Judah. They had become too wicked. Their hearts were so hardened that they would not repent. They needed to be made anew. They needed to have a Fresh Start.
Maybe many of us need a Fresh Start. Maybe our hearts have become so hardened that we are unable to discern what is truly of God. I believe that we can gain insight and understanding and grasp the essential truths needed for a Fresh start by looking at the The Clay, The Potter and The Vessel. First let’s look at. . .
I. The Clay
a. Is the house of Israel-Dug up out of Egypt
i. They had been delivered by God though Moses out of bondage and slavery-God cared for them deeply
ii. Israel and Judah had rejected God and now he was rejecting them
1. Israel had already been destroyed by Assyria and now Judah would be destroyed by Babylon
2. King Josiah was trying to bring revival but was killed in battle
3. Judah would be destroyed because of their wickedness and their idolatry
4. They had sacrificed their children to pagan gods
iii. God told Jeremiah not to even pray for the people because their wickedness was too great
iv. Jeremiah 7:16-20 (KJV)
16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.