August 12 (Daily reading: Jeremiah 18-22) God revealed His purpose by sending Jeremiah to the house of the potter. Jeremiah watched as the potter worked with the clay on the wheel. When the potter found a fault in the clay, “he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (18:4). God then made His point to Jeremiah: “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel” (18:6). God is creator, and He is sovereign. He has the right to make of us anything He desires. He is the Master, and He knows the masterplan! I am comforted that when the potter found the flaw in the clay, he did not throw it away and start over with new clay. He worked the flaw out of the clay and remade it into another vessel, “shaping it as seemed best to him” (18:4, NIV). God does not give up on us because we are flawed. He will continue shaping and molding us until He has accomplished His purpose, according to what seems best to Him!
God is sovereign but He does give us the right to choose. He knew that Judah would say, “We are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart” (18:12). Because of their stubborn and sinful attitude, Jeremiah was a “laughingstock” (20:7) and a subject of mockery. He prophesied the truth, and this “resulted in reproach and derision all day long” (20:8). This presented a dilemma for Jeremiah. Being God’s spokesperson brought nothing by trouble, but if he refused to speak in God’s name, “Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it” (20:9). May God’s word become like a “fire in our bones” that must be voiced!
– Al Gary