God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12 - Jeremiah 18-22: The Potter Rejects the Clay

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 18-22

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

While God tries to encourage Judah to set things right, Judah wants to do away with Jeremiah.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God had two outcomes for Israel: if they repented or stayed stubborn.
Judah's valley of idols would become a sewer because they sacrificed children there.
Jeremiah was whipped for bringing bad news. He wishes he had never been born.
King Zedekiah wanted God to defeat Nebuchadnezzar. Instead, God would join Nebuchadnezzar's side. "Only those who surrender will survive My Anger.
"If you set things right the kingdom will survive. If not, rubble. Rich people do not set things right. Jerusalem, your disinterest in Me will be your downfall. Now you will never return. Jehoiachin is the last of the kings."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God treats us like clay—we are made into whatever we work with the potter to create.

We are different from a potter's clay in one aspect: we can decide to work with the potter or against the potter. Israel decided to go against God and instead of repenting when their mistakes were brought to them they became defiant. Judah is doing the same.

Judah loses patience with Jeremiah. Jeremiah loses confidence.

People like prophets who say nice things. Jeremiah has nothing good to say to Judah. They no longer want to hear it. They have gone so far to whip Jeremiah. Let's hope we never get to the point we whip those who call us to set things right.
Jeremiah suffers from depression. He knows God will protect him, but wishes God would remove him and let someone else bring the bad news. It's not easy being a prophet.

God would symbolically turn Judah's worship areas into sewers and trash pits because they offered sacrifices God thought reprehensible.

God's Chosen People have gone so far that they offer their children as sacrifices to a god they do not know. Child sacrifice is something God would never dream of asking His Chosen People to sacrifice. Therefore, God would turn their diabolically-sacred valley into what it is to Him—a place for filth and refuse.

The sin of Jeroboam has come to its final conclusion—the exile of all Israel.

Jeroboam's shrine-worship entered Judah around the time Israel went into exile. Even though Josiah removed the shrines, he could not get the people to stop worshiping these gods. Beware your legacy, either for good or for ill. How ironic that Zedekiah wants God to conjure up a miracle for them—a people who care nothing for God asking for a favor. What a horrible end to such a great house.

Even to the end God's message to Judah is the same—if you set things right you will survive.

You get the feeling God is the spurned lover who never gives up. Right before Judah goes into captivity God makes one last effort to get them to set things right. They would lose their land either way, but the house of David would survive. Unfortunately, they would not listen and were ultimately destroyed. God's call remains until the bitter end—if you set things right you will be protected.

Will you work with the Potter?

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