Broken and Remade
Verses 1-3, “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.”
Jeremiah went to the potter’s house, not to preach a sermon, but to receive a sermon. This was not a sermon to hear, but a sermon to see from God Himself.
Matthew Henry said, “Those who had a sermon need not study them if given by Divine Inspiration.”
There is a national and a personal application to what Jeremiah saw:
- He applies it to the person in verses 1-4.
- He applies it to the nation in verses 5-9.
The first thing Jeremiah saw was the potter making a vessel, and something caused it to be marred; so “he made it again.”
God is saying that we are like clay in the potter’s hand; and like the clay, we resisted, but God is a God of a second chance and opportunity – “He made it again.”
According to verse eight, God may even repent of the judgment upon the nation (change His mind), if the people will turn from evil.
On the other hand, according to verse ten, God may also repent of the good with which He would bless them. God is saying to the nation and individual, “I am trying to make something great out of you.” God can make something beautiful out of clay, and God can make something beautiful out of the Christian who is pliable.
Jeremiah was quick to do what God said in verse two, and look at what he did in verse three, “Then I went down to the potter’s house.” That’s a real working faith:
- Obedience is essential to hearing the voice of God.
- God speaks to us through the routine things in life.
There are four very obvious and important lessons we need to see in this portion of Scripture:
I. GOD IS THE POTTER
- God, as the potter, has a plan for each of us.
- He has a goal and a finish line in mind for each one of us.
- Most Christians doubt His plan.
- Some ignore His plan.
- Some submit to His plan.
His plan is always the best, and He never fails to give His best to those who leave the choice up to Him. The Christian who waits for God’s best is truly blessed.
- The potter wants us to prosper in His plan.
This is really a wonderful blessing for the Christian who is willing to allow God to shape his or her life. Love is always building; if we love, we will want to build our own lives and our ministries.
The difference between success and failure is shown by the account of the prodigal son: first, he said, “Father, give me,” and when he came back he said, “Father make me.”
- The potter is patient.
The clay resisted the potter’s hand. Don’t resist God’s hand, because He is a God of a fresh start, and He never writes anybody off but is patient and longsuffering with us.
II. WE ARE THE CLAY
The two most important questions in our Bible studies are how and why? Clay is not worth much because it is just dirt. Diamonds are just lumps of coal but are beautiful because they have been proven. God did not say we are diamonds, but that we are clay, just clumps of dirt; but look at what God can make out of dirt. Clay is cheap, but the potter can make it into something which is priceless, worthwhile, useful, and beautiful.
- Clay can yield to the hands of the potter.
- Clay can be pliable and be made over again, not so with a beautiful diamond.
We may be clay, but the Potter can make something beautiful out of us. On the other hand, He can put a useless vessel on the shelf. The clay cannot be molded into something beautiful without putting pressure on it; the same is true with us. How we respond to the pressure will determine what kind of vessels we will be. Clay must have a potter, and the potter must have some clay to shape. God spends much time on His vessels, so allow Him to work on you.
III. SIN IS THE MARRING
This is really important for us to understand: if the potter finds something in the vessel that resists, he has to remove the impurity and make the vessel again. The tragedy is that our potential is limited, and future potential can be greatly reduced if we resist. We throw a lot of things away in our lives when we resist the Potter. The vessel can shrink because of marring, teaching us that we can shrink in our Christian life because of sin.
IV. THE WHEEL IS OUR LIFE
The question in this message is, how can we escape the discouragement, despair, and depression of life after it is marred? Examples of ruin in the Bible are meant to encourage and not discourage us. When the clay was marred, it did not become worthless because the potter still had a use for it. God still has a purpose for you! Let’s be careful about continued resistance because it will lead to destruction in the end.
Your life can still be useful, satisfying, worthwhile, and of great value. No matter how far you have gone into sin, God can still make you useful and be pleased with your life.
Lesson: A vessel is good for only one thing—to contain something, but there are some requirements for the vessel to be used as a container:
- It must be clean.
- It must be empty.
God can make or reshape your life and mine, and only He can bring it to perfection because He is the potter, we are the clay, sin is the marring, and the wheel is our life.
Someday all vessels will be finished by THE POTTER’S HAND!
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.