Broken Jars and Ruined Clay

this blog covers Jeremiah 18-22; there are two references to the potter and clay. The first is when the potter is working the clay into a vessel, the second it when the clay has been fired and fixed, but is deliberately broken. This past weeks reading means a lot more if you have an understanding of ceramics. Behind the Potter and clay is the understanding that God the father is the potter, fashioning Israel the clay into the vessel He wants to make. Israel, the pot is being designed for the intended use of Jehovah. We have heard many times – “will the clay say to the Potter, why have you made me this way?” [Romans 9:20-21] This illustration to Judah is to bring to mind that God is God and that He is in control. The Triune God in the creator of the world. He- Jehovah has ultimate power and authority. The Potter finds the clay/vessel is not fit for use. It obviously hasn’t been fired so The Potter crushes it, puts it back on the wheel. The Clay is remade-Judah reformed by God. When thinking of this and the inability for Israel to be a useful vessel, the thought that the Gentiles becoming the New Vessel that God would make, came to my mind. However, I did have to remember, that at some point the New vessel would become unfit as well and have to be crushed. The problem with both Israel and the Gentile vessels is that they become rigid and unmalleable in the hands of God. Israel was in the hands of God, to do as he wills, as is the vessel – the Church  today. There is a promise in this passage of hope. If . . . .evil nation repents, God will relent the evil. If . . . Evil nation continues evil, I will withhold the good I intended. But herein lies the problem with Judah and the Church we will now allow ourselves to be molded by the Father. So God says – Judah – “I am fashioning calamity against you.” Rather than repent, the reply; It’s HOPELESS;  We will trust in ourselves! We will act according to our own heart [stubborn and evil]. What choice does the Potter [God] have but to crush the vessel? In that Judah could repent – the problem was the said it was “hopeless” – yet the real problem was they didn’t want to change! Depending on how people “turn” will determine blessing or discipline. “My people have forgotten Me” replaced Him. Apostasy has entrenched Judah. Even though Nature will act normal, Judah has “abnormal” behavior [13-17]. The problem with THE CHURCH today is the same problem Judah had then – refusal to obey God. Refusal to be “under the creative power of the Holy Spirit. “We’re fine just the way we are, leave us alone.” Jeremiah 19; The Broken Jar. We find  the Valley of Ben-Hinnom also called –Topheth nor Ben-Hinnom. It will be renamed  Valley of Slaughter. To understand this the background is Topheth was a location in Jerusalem in the Gehinnom where worshipers influenced by the ancient Canaanite religion engaged in the human sacrifice of children to the gods Moloch and Baal by burning them alive. Jesus actually refers to this place when He talks of the Hinnom Valley. Many verses describe the “garbage” that went on in the valley of Hinnom – 2 Kings 23:10; Matt 5:20-22; Mark 9:42-45; unquenchable fire, and the worm never dies. Gehenna or Hinnom are plays on words. Hinnom was a garbage heap, where the fire would smolder and the stench smoke would reek with the putrid smell of burning carcasses. A very graphic picture of the future for Judah, but also for those going to be cast into Gehenna. Yet unrepentant they remain. Jeremiah 21; God is a gracious and merciful God. There is always a caveat in thee passages of punishment where God gives hope of another outcome. Today in our land and nation we find that so much devastation and evil at work. Yet, the Church and the world remain Unrepentant. We must heed the warnings. If there is judgment coming, then what will you do? Will you seek God? Or will you resist God?Was it too late? Verse 10?Was repentance and staving off judgment possible? Is it too late for the Church in America?

 

 

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Filed under 16 Prophets in 2016

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