In Isaiah 40 we talked about how God provides comfort in our seasons of trouble, but we can also see God’s comfort here in Jeremiah 18. Here in this chapter, God tells Jeremiah to go and watch a potter in his house, and what he sees is this.
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.” So, I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.”
God then says to Israel, “Can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?… Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in my hand.”
The comfort comes from the hope that God is our potter. He can make something new out of any situation we may be in.
In some seasons of life, we may feel like we are broken and there is no coming back from that brokenness. But there is newness in the clay. That brokenness we feel is fixable, and God will make something new out of that brokenness.
Now when God is telling Israel this in Jeremiah 18, he means it in a different way. In this time Israel was disobedient of God.
God says in Jeremiah 18:7-8
“At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. However, if that nation about which I have made the announcement turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it.”
This passage was as much a lesson for individuals as it was to Israel. Listen to God but know that he will make new beautiful things out of broken things.
- What does it mean to you that you are the clay and the Lord God is the potter?
- Have you seen a time in your life (or the life of someone else) when God turned a marred pot into a work of art and function? What was the best part of this transformation? Was it easy or still a bit difficult to be the molded clay?
- What can be learned at the potter’s house about God’s discipline?