Monday, March 03, 2008

What kind of pot are we?

Jeremiah reminds me of present time as all throughout Jeremiah the Lord is warning his people that unless they turn from their sins and return to him destruction is coming. In Jeremiah he provides us with this beautiful image of the Lord molding us and handling us:

Jeremiah 18:1-9
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.

I love this verse to know that the Lord can shape us and mold us into something wonderful and beautiful. That he his fingers are all over us as he is doing this and that we have such an intimate knowledge of him and he of us! What I had failed to notice is this verse that comes in the next chapter:

This is what the LORD says: "Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests 2 and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, 3 and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle...... 10 "Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, 'This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter's jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. Jeremiah 19:1-3,10

I do not pretend to fully understand the word of the Lord but to me it seems like we are in one of two conditions. We are still malleable and able to be formed and worked with like the clay in Chapter 18. Or we have hardened our hearts, closed our ears and we are doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord. Then what else is there to do with us but to break us like this pot. That we would never be the same like in Chapter 18.

To me that is terrifying that we could come to this point where all that is left is to smash as an example to others.

All throughout Jeremiah the Lord keeps warning us against backsliding: Jeremiah 15:6You have rejected me," declares the LORD. "You keep on backsliding. So I will lay hands on you and destroy you; I can no longer show compassion. (& Jeremiah 2:19, 3:22,5:6,4:17)

This terrifying to me to know that I have to guard against backsliding like the Israelites who were in their second generation of pagan worship. We may not worship Baal but what are our idols, the things we mediate upon, memorize, watch for read etc...eating, shopping, tv, other people, our children, spouses, church??? I know I am guilty but the Lord has provided a way out in Isiah the Lord tells us we have be watchmen

Isaiah 62:6 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest

Are we backsliding as a church? What is keeping us from reading our Bibles and knowing what He says, prayer, meditating on his word, fasting....It's terrifying to me, it's constantly on my mind.

Are we still malleable, there are so many of us that have already been broken. What does the Lord lay on your heart on a regular basis? Do you fear the Lord? To whom are you accountable, who is watching over you? If you want me to help you be matched up in prayer group post that too.


1 comment:

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

"This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.' "
Jeremiah 19:15

I think his is when we are no longer malleable, if we are stiff necked and refuse to listen.

Praise Jesus, I am listening. He has been constantly asking me "am I enough", if there was nothing (or no one) else in your life, am I enough.

He is teaching how to say yes. It is not always fun...it is not always pretty...but the results are eternal.

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