“I went down to the potter’s house.”
God sent His prophet Jeremiah down to the potter’s house to teach His servant the message he must deliver. It is the very same message the Lord God teaches all His servants to preach; and preach it they do. The picture and the message it conveys focus on three things: clay, wheels, and a potter.
The clay here represented the house of Israel. Israel had been dug from Egypt like clay from the pit. God brought them up into the land of Canaan, where He gently shaped and molded them. But they were stiff and unyielding. A heart of stone was in them. Therefore that nation was marred in the hands of God; and He turned His grace toward the nations of the world. The Apostle Paul, by Divine inspiration, enlarges this message and tells us that the clay represents all men (Romans 9:18-24).
Clay is raw material, infertile mud, useless, except in the hands of the potter. That is what you and I are, useless clods of red earth, sons and daughters of Adam. God dug us from the pit of fallen humanity by the hand of His omnipotent grace. He filled us with His mercy and fashioned us into the image of His own dear Son.
Some are God’s elect, sinners chosen to eternal life, vessels of mercy, made and prepared by God to be filled with mercy, afore prepared by God for glory. All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are vessels of mercy. — Nothing but mercy comes to God’s elect (Psalm 23:6).
Others are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. You can fuss and squawk about it if you want; but if you do, your fight is with God Almighty and his Holy Word. This is a fact revealed in the Book of God. — Some in this world are vessels of mercy. Others are vessels of wrath (Romans 9:11-24; 1 Peter 2:7-10; Jude 3-4).
The potter Jeremiah saw had wheels in his house, wheels he used to mold the clay as he would. The wheels (plural) Jeremiah saw in the potter’s house represent the purpose, promises, providence, and power of God. All the circumstances, experiences, and events of our lives in this world are wheels used by God to mold and shape His people into the image of Christ, according to His will (Romans 8:28-29; 11:36). And the wheels of providence and grace move according to God’s eternal purpose of grace in predestination.
The Potter is the Lord God Himself. You and I are as clay in the hands of God. He owns us. He has (and always exercises) the right to rule us, use us, shape us, and dispose of us as He will. He says, — “Cannot I do with you as this potter? Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in Mine hand.” God is not in our hands. We are in His hands. God is not ruled by our will. We are ruled by His will.
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