TEXT: Jeremiah 18: 1-11*
1. The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2. Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4. 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. 5. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6. 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. 7. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8. If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 9. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10. If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them. 11. Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
This familiar passage about ‘The potter and the Clay’ clearly underline the supremacy and omnipotence of God over man. He can mould, destroy and rebuild, as He likes! It is a vivid reminder that depending on human response, God is capable not only of intending good and evil toward humanity, but also of changing the divine mind about pending doom and blessings. One might read this passage and ask, “Where is the love?”
God’s love is expressed in the reworking of the clay. However painful and unpleasant it may be, God’s ultimately plan is for good. Israel’s decision not to worship God but other gods leaves the nation vulnerable to heartbreaking consequences. Jeremiah therefore issues the clarion call for repentance in the text.
God wants us to see and to know that repentance -and only repentance -could prevent the consequences of our detrimental choices, and that only repentance can halt our journey of self-destruction. Though sin breaches our relationship with God, we must not think that He will reject us if we humble ourselves and return to Him with a broken and a contrite heart. He longs to take us back and his willingness to forgive his children is infinite.
No matter where we are or what we have done, we can be confident that God will pardon us if we forsake our sins and turn to Christ alone for pardon. Even the vilest offender or sinner who repents will have God’s mercy which “endures forever” as Ps.106:1 says.
*HYMN: MHB 323 (LM)*
1: COME, sinners, to the gospel feast,
Let every soul be Jesu’s guest;
Ye need not one be left behind,
For God hath bidden all mankind.
2: Sent by my Lord, on you I call;
The invitation is to all:
Come, all the world; come, sinner, thou!
All things in Christ are ready now.
3: Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
Ye restless wanderers after rest,
Ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind,
In Christ a hearty welcome find.
4: His love is mighty to compel;
His conquering love consent to feel,
Yield to His love’s resistless power,
And fight against your God no more.
5: This is the time; no more delay!
This is the acceptable day;
Come in, this moment, at His call,
And live for Him who died for all.
*MEMORY VERSE:* Acts 17:30. “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”
*PRAYER:* Thank You, merciful Lord, for giving me another chance to repent of my sins that have allowed Satan to torment me. Now that I am redeemed, make me rapturable and fit for thy Kingdom, for I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
*TODAY IS ASH WEDNESDAY! WELCOME TO LENT 2019!*