Summary: When a person allows God to mold and make Him, He is a vessel God can use. What we realize that God can change a nation, He surely can work in our lives.
The Potters Hand
Jeremiah chapter 18:1-18:18
Turn to Jeremiah chapter 18, we will be looking at the illustration of the Potter and the clay and seeing what God will be telling us this morning.
18:1- “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord. Go down to the potter’s house and there I will give you my message.
Jeremiah is obedient and goes to the potter’s house.
18:3- “So I went down to the potters house, and I saw him working at the wheel, but the part that he was shaping from the clay was marred in His hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to Him.’
Stop there a moment!
Jeremiah had a relationship with God- because He heard and communicated with God.
He was obedient- God said go- and he went.
Told to see the potter and when he got there, the potter was at the wheel, and the clay that was in his hands was marred, and he was shaping it as seemed best to him.
Jeremiah was attentive to see what God wanted him to see.
Most messages start and stop with this text, God the potter taking the hard to shape clay and making something beneficial out of nothing.
We serve a great big God more than able to do that.
This text is really about God molding, shaping, correcting nations. On the wheel was the nation of Israel.
18:5- “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?
Until you realize that God has the ability to change nations if they are willing, you will always fall short of thinking God can do something amazing and spectacular in your life.
God the potter controls what he does with the clay, so the Lord is sovereign over the people of Judah.
Picture this! The potter little legs are spinning the bottom wheel so that the top wheel is turning where the clay is in His hand. He is working hard to work that clay in His hands. (You don’t always see how hard the potter is working.)
The clay was marred- Hebrew word translated “ruined”
The flaw was in the clay, not the potter’s skill. (repeat)
A grandfather and grandmother were in a gift shop looking for a gift for their granddaughter. Suddenly the grandmother sees this beautiful vase and shows it to the grandfather. This is perfect, it is the loveliest vase I have ever seen. At the point something remarkable happens, just like in a movie, the vase says to the grandparents. Thank you for the compliment, but I was not always beautiful. Instead of being surprised that the vase could talk, the grandfather asks the vase… what did you mean you were not always beautiful?
Once I was just an ugly lump of clay. One day a man with wet dirty hands threw me on the wheel and started turning me around. Then he poked me, punched me, made me dizzy and I yelled stop! Not yet He said.
Each time that I thought he was done, he would start again and then he did something worse, he put me in a furnace. It got hot until I could not stand it. Stop, stop! Not yet he relied!
He took me out of the furnace and he began to paint me, and the fumes were so bad I could hardly breath, it made me feel sick! Stop, stop, Not yet!
When I thought he was done, He put me back into the furnace, it again was hot.
Finally, he took me out of the furnace and let me cool. A pretty lady put me on the shelf. When I saw myself in the mirror, I was no longer ugly.
It was then that I realized that all the pain was worthwhile. Without it I would still be ugly. It was then that all the pain took on new meaning, the pain had passed, but the beauty had remained.
The problem is not the potter, it is the clay!
What God can do for a nation, He certainly can do for us as individuals.
The nation may decide to turn its back on God, but God will still take some willing marred ruined clay and make something beautiful.
(7) “If at anytime I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warn repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”