Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
R. Focusing On God's Sovereignty To Heed Him When Tempted To Do Otherwise
(Jeremiah 18:1-11)
  1. Introduction
    1. Scripture presents a wide variety of reasons why it is in one's best interests to heed God's Word.
    2. However, nothing is as profoundly effective toward that end than coming to realize the infinite and absolute sovereignty God has over us, a reason illustrated in Jeremiah 18:1-11 as follows:
  2. Focusing On God's Sovereignty To Heed Him When Tempted To Do Otherwise, Jeremiah 18:1-11.
    1. Jeremiah with the people of Judah had been tempted in differing ways to resist God's Word and will:
      1. The people of Judah had been heavily influenced by their leaders and their own lusts to depart from the Lord and heed the gods of the Gentile nations around them, cf. Jeremiah 2:8.
      2. When Jeremiah then spoke God's Word, charging the nation to repent from their sin, he was pressured by the people into seriously being tempted to resist God's will himself, Jeremiah 15:16-18.
    2. After some discussion with Jeremiah on the matter, God gave him an object lesson at the potter's house that was designed PROFOUNDLY to impress all involved just WHY they should heed Him:
      1. The Lord directed Jeremiah to go down to the potter's house where God would cause him to hearken to a special message He wanted Jeremiah to hear there, Jeremiah 18:1-2a,b.
      2. Jeremiah made the trip watched the potter at work on his wheel, Jeremiah 18:3.
      3. After he saw the potter form a vessel from the clay, Jeremiah witnessed him become irritated with an imperfection he saw in it so that he crushed it back down into a formless lump of clay and began again to form it into another vessel that aligned with the potter's will, Jeremiah 18:4.
      4. At this point, God made a profound object lesson out of this event as follows, Jeremiah 18:5-11:
        1. God explained to Jeremiah that he was to announce to Judah that He was absolutely sovereign over Judah, that He could do with her what this potter had done to his lump of clay, Jeremiah 18:5-6.
        2. Specifically, whenever God in His absolute sovereignty decided to destroy a nation because it was not pleasing to Him (just like the potter could crush the newly formed, soft but marred clay vessel on his wheel), so God could thus destroy such a nation, including Judah, Jeremiah 18:7.
        3. Conversely, if a nation against whom God had pronounced His judgments might repent of its sin, God would relent from His plans to destroy it as surely as potter would with his potter's clay, 18:8.
        4. Then, if God had built up a nation with the intent of blessing it (like a potter had started out forming a vessel from the lump with the intent of making it into a prized vessel) only to find some mar of sin in it (like the potter who might discover an unsatisfactory mar in the newly formed clay vessel on his wheel), as the potter who would change his mind about oven firing the vessel to make a useful pot would instead crush it back down into a lump of clay, God had the power and will to destroy that nation whom He had initially planned to bless, Jeremiah 18:9-10.
        5. Accordingly, God had Jeremiah take this object lesson to Judah with this message: God had planned to destroy the nation of Judah that He had formed because of its sin; however, were Judah to repent, He would change His plan to destroy it like a potter changing His intent regarding the vessel he had formed on his wheel, and God would keep Judah free from judgment, Jeremiah 18:11.
Lesson: God's people and Jeremiah were as VULNERABLE to GOD'S SOVEREIGN WILL as was the newly formed soft clay pot on the potter's wheel to the potter who had formed it: as the potter could preserve the new pot because it pleased him or he could crush it back into a lump of clay and start over were he not to be pleased with it, both Judah and Jeremiah were to sense their ACCOUNTABILITY to GOD Who had ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY over them and thus HEED Him for blessing!

Application: (1) May we HEED God's Word out of our sense of accountability to One Who has absolute sovereignty over us, Heb. 12:28-29. (2) If we like Jeremiah are tempted to cease doing God's will in facing pressure from those opposed to our doing God's will, let us RECALL our COMPLETE VULNERABILITY to GOD and do His will out of RESPECT for GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY over us!