The Second Message of the Potter
I was led to read Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 18 this morning…the beginning where it talks about the Potter. Most of us are familiar with the account. It is the one where G-d tells Yirmeyahu to go to the potter’s house where He would tell him more. So, he goes.
At the potter’s house, he sees the potter making pots. Whenever a pot did not come out right, he would take the clay and start over, remaking the pot into something of his choosing.
Then, G-d speaks to him. He says, “House of Isra’el, can’t I deal with you as the potter deals with his clay? Look! You, house of Isra’el, are the same in my hand as the clay in the potter’s hand.” Now, that is the part probably most of us are familiar with in one way or another.
But today I was struck by what comes next. You see, most of the statements in the bible are about Israel, whether as one nation or split into two…Israel and Judah. But there are statements about the “nations”, too, and that is what follows.
He goes on to talk about uprooting, breaking down and destroying a nation or kingdom or building and planting a nation or kingdom. He talks about a nation that does evil, but repents and about a nation that He builds that turns to evil. If the evil one repents, He will turn from the disaster He was going to bring upon it and if the good nation He builds turns to evil and does not listen to Him, He will withhold the good He would have done to help it.
Now, there are some things to note here. First, an evil nation can repent and be blessed by G-d. Had we started out evil, destruction would have followed our continued evil. But we didn’t.
If you ignore revised history, we were built up by G-d. We were founded upon biblical principles among others (where the others did not conflict with the biblical). Of all the sources cited for the Founding Fathers in their working on forming our government, the single largest quoted source is the bible. The writings of the around 250 Founding Fathers indicate that they were, with few exceptions, Christians. Many were clergymen. There were only a handful of deists and even they wanted the bible taught in schools! In fact, some of them actually wanted Hebrew to be the national language. This is a nation founded on miracles…literally. You can read about them. Without G-d’s hand, this nation would not have been founded. Yet, we have turned to evil.
This is where it gets even more interesting. Whereas, G-d says He will not destroy the evil nation that repents, He says He will not do the good He said He would do for the good nation that turns to evil. He does not say He will destroy it, but that He won’t do good to help it. Do we not see that happening in our nation? So many people think of bad things as being G-d’s handiwork. But He does not have to do bad things. All He has to do is remove His protection. He has blessed us in SO many ways and those blessings have continued to benefit us for a long time even though we have been doing evil for a long time. (Think Roe v Wade, 1973, for starts.)
The farther from G-d we go, the more vulnerable we become. He has given us warnings, but we are not paying attention to them. 9/11 could have been much worse. Katrina could have been much worse. He is lifting His hand of protection. What is next for us? I don’t know, but we need to be prepared. What is the best preparation? Be His! Seek the Creator and surrender your heart to Him!
I truly believe He will take care of His own. There are SO many examples in the Scriptures where He has taken care of His own in the midst or horrific happenings. There are also examples of His supernatural provision. He is the same G-d now that He was then. Make sure you are His…that you are a part of His family.
He knows our hearts. He knows who is truly seeking Him and wants Him and who is just playing a game. He knows who is truly worshiping Him in their whole lives and who just gives a nod on Sunday mornings. He knows who loves Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and who looks at church as mainly a social gathering. He also knows who loves their neighbor as themselves. Ouch! Where are you in that list?
If you are not sure where your heart is, ask Him to show you. He will! If you are not sure He is even real, ask Him to show Himself to you. He will! He has since the garden and He will continue to do so because He does not want even ONE person to perish. He wants ALL to be in His family!
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