Page 11 - August 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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He had inalienable, sovereign rights over   careful not to allow cancel culture to creep
        Israel and their neighbours. “Can I not do   in among us. Sometimes the people of God
        with you as this potter has done? declares   need to hear uncomfortable truths and
        the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the pot-  answer difficult questions.
        ter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house   The Pot’s Calamity
        of Israel” (Jer 18:6). God’s sovereignty   The fourth action sermon, the symbolic
        is not arbitrary and is exercised entirely   destruction of the clay jar, was in response
        consistent with His attributes of holiness
        and grace. Thus, in this context, any nation   to Jeremiah’s bitter cry for vengeance. It
        against whom He has pronounced judge-  signified that God was finally going to
        ment can be sure of His mercy if they re-  bring an end to the conspiracy and the
        pent (v8). Similarly, any nation concerning   people’s sinful, idolatrous ways. “Thus
        which the Lord has determined blessing   says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this
        can be sure of His judgement if it turns   people and this city, as one breaks a pot-
        to do evil in His sight (v10). That is God’s   ter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended.
        sovereign right.                      Men shall bury in Topheth because there
        The Plotters’ Conspiracy              will be no place else to bury” (Jer 19:11).
                                              Matthew attributed the purchase (with the
          The Lord told Jeremiah to go and exhort   Lord’s blood money) of the Potter’s Field
        the people to repent. Sadly, notwithstand-  to be used as a burying place for foreigners
        ing the warning, their evil hearts were set   (thereafter known as the Field of Blood) as
        like unworkable clay. As they listened to   a dual fulfilment of this and Zechariah’s
        Jeremiah’s message, they said, “That is in   prophecy (Mat 27:9; Zec 11:13).
        vain! We will follow our own plans, and
        will every one act according to the stub-  While Jeremiah’s imprecatory prayer
        bornness of his evil heart” (v12).    (Jer 18:19-23) is not a model for believers
          Not only did they refuse to repent, but   of our dispensation, it is a measure of the
        they conspired to destroy Jeremiah and   extreme provocation he experienced. The
        choose  their  own  instructors.  “Let  us   Lord Jesus taught, “Love your enemies
        consider how to deal with Jeremiah! There   and pray for those who persecute you”
                                              (Mat 5:44). Nevertheless, such prayers
        will still be priests to instruct us, wise
        men to give us advice, and prophets to   can give comfort to believers in personal
        declare God’s word. Come on! Let’s bring   distress, inasmuch as their inclusion in
        charges against him and get rid of him!   Scripture assures us that the Lord takes
        Then we will not need to pay attention to   note of personal hurts and has the power
        anything he says” (v18 NET). The Apostle   to intervene should He choose to do so.
        Paul warned of the same attitude as he ex-  These two sermons remind us that in
        horted Timothy to preach the Word. “For   our apparently chaotic world, the Potter is
        the time is coming when people will not   still in sovereign control. His hands are pa-
        endure sound teaching, but having itching   tiently moulding and shaping the affairs
        ears they will accumulate for themselves   of men, personally or globally, to fulfil His
        teachers to suit their own passions” (2Ti   own unalterable purposes. Notwithstand-
        4:3). This is a timely exhortation. While   ing the schemes of the ungodly, His might
        we  must  guard  against  the  insidious   is irresistible, resistance is futile, and their
        encroachment of error, we must also be   destruction sure. His Word will prevail.

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