Daily Devotional–Thursday, May 13, 2021
“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 He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, 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. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.’” (Jeremiah 18:1-10, NLT)
God told Jeremiah to visit the potter’s house to receive a message for the people. What was the message? “People are clay in the hands of God, the Master Potter.” It is as much a message for you and I as it was for Israel. Here’s something for you to try; replace the word “Israel” with the word “Church” and read it again. Or if you want to make it more personal replace “Israel” and “nation or kingdom” with your name. Making this scripture about our context doesn’t do any injustice to God’s message…this portion of the Bible really is as much for us as it was for the Israelites.
God has plans and he has made provisional promises; but he isn’t limited like the ancient kings of the Medes/Persians to making decrees that even he himself cannot modify. We are like clay in his hands and he will mold us as he sees fit. If we resist the pressure of his hands, he is not incapable of changing his initial design for us. When we actively choose to respond to him in submission and obedience, he can also change his plan in response to our free will.
It is difficult for us as finite beings to understand how God’s permissive will interacts with our own freedom to choose, but it is evident through the prophet Jeremiah, that it is so. He isn’t interested in making irrevocable ultimatums—he works and shapes us in response to our own freewill. He isn’t interested in blind compliance; he wants a relationship. He honours the gift he gave us, the freedom to choose or reject him, and responds to us much as a potter responds to the quality of the clay. Of what kind of ‘quality’ will you choose to be in God’s hands?
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!