January 15 – Consider Again the Potter

“Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds. But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’” – Jeremiah 18:11-12 (NASB)

Not too many days ago we considered the illustration of the potter which God gave to Jeremiah. From the same passage we learn how the people facing conquest, destruction, and exile respond to the lesson. Warned and exhorted to pay attention to the plans of God they call such action “hopeless.” It is a dangerous thing to hear a warning from God’s Word and to hear such exhortations and say “No thanks, we have our own plan to follow.” Jeremiah brought them to the point where they actually stated their condition honestly. The prophet’s threats were useless because they were so far gone—abandoned to their sins and the penalty. All hypocrisy was abandoned in favor of honesty, without repentance. Let’s not go there. Israel could have repented and avert judgment but they were so far down the rebel path even Jeremiah was told to not pray for them. Let’s listen to God and learn from this lesson to heed God’s instructions. After all we are the clay and He is the potter. He is making us into beautiful and useful vessels. Let’s be the clay and become the vessels God wants us to be. 

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January 13 – He Knows and Gives Hope

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)

The verse selected for today is often a favorite. Many take the promise in this verse as if it is given directedly to each believer. In a much larger sense it is true but not in the primary sense. Jeremiah, was sent to give God’s messages and warning to the His people in the Kingdom of Judah. (The northern Kingdom of Israel was gone and its people dispersed.) Warnings of conquest and destruction were repeatedly given to them by God through Jeremiah and each was ignored, mocked, and disregarded. They treated Jeremiah treacherously with malice and physical torture. But look one verse back to Jeremiah 20:10 we have the necessary context. God promises a time to bring the captives back from Babylon after seventy years in exile. Not all came back but God is promising in verse 11. God promised welfare and no longer calamity. He promised a future and a hope. While not directly in this verse, God has promised each believer a future and a hope. We too have this promise of welfare and not calamity from God from God. We find these promises many places. He gives us hope that is absolute and never disappoints.

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