Read Jeremiah 18:1-11
Many times when we see the verse above we are drawn to the beauty of knowing that God is shaping us into the people He wants us to be. Philippians 1:6 affirms that "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
This is something that gives me great comfort, because despite all my flaws and my sins, my Heavenly Father has committed to making me into the person He knows I can be. He has designed each of us with a purpose in mind. In the picture above, the potter is designing a vessel that has a purpose. Whether it is to be a decoration or a jug to hold flowers and water, only the potter knows. When it is complete, the potter will make the necessary finishes that will decide how it is to be used.
We are much the same way. Our heavenly Father knows our purpose and He knows when we will be completed for that purpose. He also, like the potter, realizes when something needs to be fixed. We are either not learning, growing in our relationship with Him, obeying Him, or simply not hearing Him, and like the potter, He has to take drastic measures with us and start over again. Sometimes, the moulding and shaping is for our benefit. He sees the end result. He knows our future and we have to trust that whatever happens in our lives is ultimately according to His purposes.
This is what happened to Jeremiah's people. They had forgotten their purpose, that they were chosen by God to be an example to the nations of how a holy people are supposed to live. But instead, they exchanged God for the false idols of the nations that surrounded them and they forgot about God and fell into sin.
The following verses show us that God doesn't just deal with individuals but He deals with nations the same way.
"Oh, house of Israel can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. Look, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it."
Notice that while these verses are concerning Israel and their coming judgment (they would go into captivity in Babylon for seventy years), God also addresses any nation or kingdom. The Bible tells us that it is God alone who puts people in positions of power (Romans 13:1-2; Daniel 2:21) and as the verse above suggests, because He is the potter, if a nation does not repent of its evil He will pluck it up, pull it down and destroy it - IF it is a nation He has spoken against to destroy. The key is that He will relent of any disasters He intends to bring upon them if only they will repent.
While the verses above resonate with many individuals in that we recognize God is our "Master Potter" and we are the clay, imagine what could happen to our great nation if our leaders recognized God's sovereignty as well. At least one very special and significant nation is currently doing that today. Israel's leaders are urging the Jewish people to read through the Bible, the whole Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. They are returning to the Word of God and recognizing God's sovereignty over them as a nation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the new school year in Israel by encouraging children to rediscover the Word of God and Biblical roots of their Jewish heritage.
“First of all, the study of the Bible,” he said in August. “Knowledge is a critical word. We want to give it [knowledge of the Scriptures] to every child in Israel, Jews and non-Jews as one, religious and secular. This is the basis of the new world, and the basis of Israel as a strong nation in the world.”
Will the people of Israel listen to her leaders? I pray they do and as a nation submit themselves once again to the Master Potter. Imagine the blessings that God will pour out on them if they did so. Imagine how great our nation could be if our leaders humbled themselves before God as well and acknowledged God's sovereignty over them. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. May it be so! Come Lord Jesus come!