The Lord taught the prophet Jeremiah a lesson that was true of ancient Israel, and that is equally true for us today.
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6
The soft clay of the potter was used to form a vessel but in the process the vessel became marred. Because the clay was still soft and workable, the potter was able to remake the intended vessel from the same clay that was remolded. The Lord compared his people to that clay. He told them even though he had good plans for them, if they turned away from him, evil would come to them instead of good. And he told them how equally true it was that if he purposed evil against a people who repented, he would turn away his wrath from them and bless them. This showed the Israelites how easily God could remake them into a perfect vessel, even after being marred by their sin and rebellion.
Once a clay vessel has hardened it cannot be further molded. Through time the wicked among the children of Israel had become hardened against the Lord, so much so that they rejected the prophets and even the Messiah who were sent unto them. This caused Jesus to weep over them.
“Then Jesus began to weep over Jerusalem, saying, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Ye who will kill the prophets, and will stone them who are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!” Matthew 23:36-38
Our hearts need to be soft. Our spirits need to be moldable. We need to be teachable. We need to be in a state of submission, where we can be led by the Lord. Too many saints have become hardened. Their hearts are not open to be taught by the Lord. They are set in their ways. They are convinced of themselves. They think they have arrived. There is nothing new they can learn. They cannot receive instruction. What can the Lord do with such a people?
If a clay creation is made but left to harden while still unperfected, impurities may remain in it. If a gas bubble remains in the clay vessel when it is fired in the kiln it can cause the creation to explode, making it good only for the scrap pile. But while clay is still soft it can be molded and even remade if needed. In this workable state all impurities can be purged out by careful, steady, patient crafting. We are like that clay vessel. We should not resist the continual perfecting work of the Holy Spirit. We should not resist even being remade if needed, for in this remaking we are preserved.
The Lord is now calling to a people with whom he still wants to work. For this to happen our hearts need to be soft. We need to be open to his leading and his teaching. We need to be willing to learn from him. The Lord has promised to do a great and marvelous work among a people who had become hardened. Their eyes have become blinded. But the marvelous work would soften their hearts. It would open their blind eyes. Are we ready for God to do a mighty work among us? Are we willing to be remade in his image and likeness? Tyler Crowell 05.12.2018