Truth in Love 16 January 2022

Recently, a friend led a devotional using the text from Jeremiah 18 about Jeremiah’s visit to the potter’s house. Scott did a really good job with his devotional, but as often happens when we are examining a particular scripture, I saw an additional area to explore that he didn’t have time to cover in his lesson. The particular text from the ESV is: “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
What immediately came to my mind was the story of my own life. There I was, created in the image of Almighty God for a purpose. Before my bones were knit together in the womb, God knew me and had a plan for my life. His desire for me as for all mankind was that I would come to know His great love for me and simply love Him back. Even as He looked forward to this relationship with me, He knew that I would fail. So, before I was born, no, even farther back, before He created the world, He devised a plan to reunite me to Him. That’s what I see in the potter’s house.
The potter began making a vessel with a specific purpose and plan for it. He was intentional about his design and probably a master at his craft. But the vessel was ruined. Maybe the wheel was a little off-centered or the clay had some imperfection in it, or perhaps his hand brushed against it accidentally. Maybe Jeremiah walking into his shop distracted him momentarily. At any rate, the vessel was ruined. Just like my life when I followed my own paths instead of allowing the Great Potter to direct my ways. My life was ruined. I had gone from being the absolute perfect vessel He envisioned me to be and become a ruined vessel of no use to anyone. But the potter didn’t quit and discard the ruined vessel and God didn’t give up on me! As the potter looked at the ruined vessel, he quickly began anew to remake the vessel into what he wished it to be.
There’s a clue in the next couple of verses that reads, “Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’” Perhaps the potter changed his mind and made it into a different vessel for a different purpose or perhaps he simply started over and remade the vessel he intended from the start. But he didn’t give up on his work — just like God didn’t give up on me.