Jeremiah 18

Jehovah has incontestable and irresistible ability to form (frame) and fashion nations as He pleases.
If they do not turn from evil ways,
He will turn His hand against them.
Sin ruins the comforts of nations, prolongs their grievances, and at length brings total ruin upon them.

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

11 ¶ Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

13 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.

14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

16 To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.

17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.

18 ¶ Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

19 Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.

20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.

21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.

23 Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.

Jeremiah 18:4—He made it again.

​   God wants to make the very best He can of each of his children. He puts us on his wheel, and subjects us to the discipline which He deems most likely to secure our greatest blessedness and usefulness. But, alas! how often He finds a marred vessel left on his hands when He desired and sought perfect beauty and strength! This is through no failure on his part; but because some bubble of vanity or grit of self-will has hindered Him.
   Alas, how many have marred his work! What might we not have been, if only we had perfectly yielded to Him! It is enough to break our hearts to recall all the wasted and misspent years, when He would, but we would not.
   When this has been the case, He does not cast us utterly away; but puts us afresh upon the wheel, and “made it again.” If He cannot do what He desired at the first, He will still make the best of us; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Let God take your life which has hitherto proved a failure; He will make of what remains of it more than men could make with all earthly advantages on their side, and with nothing to hinder its regular development.
   Yield yourself afresh to God. Confess that you have marred his work. Humbly ask that He should make you again, as He made again Jacob and Peter and John and Mark. Only be careful in all time to come—first, to give God sufficient opportunity by waiting before Him; and secondly, to be very prompt to obey all that He may impress upon you as being his holy will. There is simply no limit to the progress and development of the soul which is able to meet God with a never-faltering “Yes.” Let the lifelike clay in the potter’s hands be plastic to its Maker’s touch! —Our Daily Homily