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lthough  Jeremiah’s  third  and   three different emphases.
               fourth action sermons are distinct,   First, the Potter’s majesty is revealed in His
        Athere is considerable overlap        work. This is twofold. In Psalm 19 David
        between them. We will consider them   declares that His handiwork in the heav-
        together in this study.               ens eloquently attests to His flawless wis-
          In the third sermon, Jeremiah was in-  dom. Then, answering latter-day scoffers,
        structed to go to the potter’s house and   Peter says, “They deliberately overlook
        watch him at work (ch18). As the skilled   this fact … the earth was formed out of
        craftsman busied himself at his wheel,   water and through water by the word of
        occasionally a blemish in the clay would   God, and that by means of these … was
        cause him to repurpose that particular   deluged with water and perished” (2Pe
        lump, making another vessel as seemed   3:5-6).  Only God’s matchless power could
        best to him. When the lesson of this ser-  use the self-same elements (the water and
        mon was met with resistance, the Lord   the Word) first to such creative and then
        told Jeremiah to buy a clay jar and take it   to such destructive effect.
        and some of the leaders to an area of the   Second, it implies the Potter’s affinity
        Hinnom Valley near the Potsherd (“east”   for His work. There is a special relation-
        KJV) Gate (19:1,2). The Hinnom Valley was   ship between the potter and the clay. His
        Jerusalem’s garbage dump, and the Pot-  craft is uniquely personal and intimate.
        sherd Gate was likely where broken and   His hands are His tools. The Lord Jesus
        useless pottery was discarded. Jeremiah   beautifully demonstrated this in healing
        was  to  pronounce  judgement  against   the blind man of John 9. Stooping in the
        the kings of Judah and the inhabitants of   dirt, the same hands that formed Adam’s
        Jerusalem, and symbolically break the jar,   lifeless  eyes  reworked  the  dust  of  the
        presumably casting the broken pieces into   ground to heal his sightless eyes. The blind
        the valley below.                     man testified, “The man called Jesus made
        The Potter’s Clay                     mud and anointed my eyes …. So I went
          These two sermons both invoke the   and washed and received my sight” (v11).
        imagery of a potter and/or clay. This is   Third, it affirms the Potter’s sovereignty
        a common biblical motif, particularly in   over His work. This is certainly the empha-
        the OT. The allusion is invariably to the   sis in Jeremiah 18, as in Romans 9, where
        relationship of Jehovah as Creator to His   the Apostle Paul evidently develops this
        Creation: the earth (Isa 45:18), the moun-  and Isaiah’s numerous references to the
        tains (Amo 4:13), the beasts (Gen 2:19),   Potter and the clay. As it was the Potter’s
        mankind (Gen 2:7), and even the nation,   prerogative to determine how best to use
        Jacob/Israel (Isa 43:1).              the clay, so the Lord taught Jeremiah that
          It should help to note that the metaphor   ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from
        of God forming as a potter presents at least   the ESV unless otherwise noted.

        234 TRUTH kTidings   August  2022
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