Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jeremiah Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (627-586 BC)
Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)
Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)
Message: the People Try to Silence Jeremiah (v 1-23)

Jeremiah 18 Commentary 

(18:1) The Potter and Clay - The parables in these chapters, probably written during the early years of Jehoiakim's reign, illustrate God's sovereignty over the nation of Judah. God had power over the clay (Judah), and he would continue to work with it to make it a useful vessel. But Judah needed to repent soon, or else the clay would harden the wrong way. Then it would be worth nothing and would be broken and destroyed. 

(18:6) Molding the Clay - As the potter molded or shaped a clay pot on the potter's wheel, defects would often appear. The potter had power over the clay, to permit the defects to remain or to reshape the pot. Likewise, God had power to reshape the nation to conform to his purposes. Our strategy should not be to become mindless and passive--one aspect of clay--but to be willing and receptive to God's impact on us. As we yield to God, he begins reshaping us into valuable vessels to be used for his purposes. 

(18:12) Stubbornness - Our society admires assertiveness, independence, and sometimes even defiance of authority. In a relationship with God these qualities become stubbornness, self-importance, and refusal to listen or change. Left unchecked, stubbornness becomes a way of life and makes us hostile to God. 

(18:18) A Powerful Word - Jeremiah's words and actions challenged the people's social and moral behavior. He had openly spoken against the king, the princes, the priests and prophets, the scribes, and the wise (4:9; 8:8-9). He wasn't afraid to give unpopular criticism, even though people scorned him (18:12). The people could have listened to him and heeded his warnings, but instead they chose to silence him. They did not think they needed Jeremiah. Their false prophets told them what they wanted to hear. How bold are you to speak out against society's injustices, acts of immorality, and negative trends? While we must be kind to everyone, we must not keep silent about the truth.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Potter and the Clay

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 18. In our text today we see the Lord showing us the parable of the Potter and the Clay. In making application we see the picture of how the Lord makes us and molds us into vessels for his good use. Today we see that we need to submissive to the Lord as He works in our lives. How about you? Do you see yourself as clay in the Masters hand? Let us learn from our text today and the picture the Lord paints for us of the Potter and the Clay and how He molds us and makes us into vessels of honor for His good works.  


Jeremiah 18

Jeremiah 18

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

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

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

 4And 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.

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

 6O 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.

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

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

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

 10If 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.

 11Now 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.

 12And 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.

 13Therefore 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.

 14Will 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?

 15Because 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;

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

 17I 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.

 18Then 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.

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

 20Shall 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.

 21Therefore 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.

 22Let 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.

 23Yet, 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.