Here we have the parable of the potter. Jeremiah was at a very low point in his ministry. The nation of Judah had turned their backs upon God. They were following false prophets and were worshipping idols instead of God. Jeremiad was faced with the task of preaching repentance to a rebellious and backslidden nation. Now it was necessary for God to teach dim a lesson, so He sent dim down to the potter's douse. There are some vital lessons in this parable for us today. Each object in the parables has a significant meaning.
I. God is the Potter.
A. He is a person
1. Our lives are not in the hands of some invisible 'force'.
2. Nor are we subject to what is called 'blind fate'.
3. Our lives are in the hands of a Person - Almighty God!
4. God is not just our Creator, He is our Father and He has a personal concern for the lives of His children.
(Isaiah 64:8) But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
B. He has a plan.
1. Just as the potter has a plan for a lump of clay
2. So God has a plan for our lives.
3. He sees the finished product in his mind.
4. As we view our lives they may seem of little consequence, but God knows the end from the beginning.
5. That is why Paul says what he does in Philippians 1:6.
(Philippians 1:6) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
C. He has the power.
1. Not only does God have a plan for us.
2. He also has the power to accomplish that plan in our lives.
3. He is sovereign over all.
(Romans 9:21) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
D. He has patience.
1. The potter patiently works the clay, tenderly molding its shape.
2. In the same manner, God patiently directs in our lives, seeking to fulfill His will.
3. It takes time to make a worth-while product, and God is willing to wait.
4. Consider these men:
II. Man is the Clay
A. It is our composition
1. Ps. 103:14, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."
2. Genesis 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground..."
3. Clay is dust mixed with water and is of no great value in itself.
B. It's greatest quality
1. The greatest quality of clay is that it yields.
2. As it yields in the hands of the potter it can become something of great value.
3. If the clay fails to yield it becomes marred.
4. Disobedience hinders the work of God in our lives.
a. God's plan for us can be spoiled by our own disobedience.
b. The same is true of a nation, a church, or a family.
c. No greater damage can be done than that of an unyielding life.
III. Life is the Wheel.
A. The potter's wheel spins swiftly.
1. The speed of the wheel is controlled by the potter Himself
2. Three factors in the shaping of the clay are:
a. Speed of the wheel
b. Pressure applied by the hands of the potter.
c. The yielding of the clay.
3. The potter controls pressure and speed.
B. Our lives are like the potter's wheel.
1. Our lives are not controlled by chance or luck, but by God.
2. He arranges the circumstances of life that molds us.
3. We may, at times, wonder about the circumstances of our lives or think that God has been unfair to us, but one day we will realize the truth of Romans 8:28.
4. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..."
C. Most important thing about a wheel is not its size.
1. It is its center! If a wheel is "on center" then everything will be well-balanced.
2. The primary concern of our lives should not be longevity.
3. NOTE: a researcher in California found that by eating the same diet he fed to his rats he could live longer; but who wants to eat rat food?
4. Our primary concern should be whether or not our lives are 'on center' ! NOTE: At the graveside - "He had a full life!"
5. The 'center' in the life of a child of God is Jesus Christ.
6. Mt. 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Now that we've seen the significance of each object in the parable, let's read it again: v 1-4
Jeremiah saw that the vessel made of clay was marred. He could see the nation of Judah readily as the unyielding rebellious vessel, but that wasn't the lesson to be learned. The potter did not cast away the vessel - he made it over again. There is the lesson! God can take an unyielding and rebellious life and make it into something worthwhile and useful. He can do it for you today if you will just let Him. Perhaps you have been stubborn and unyielding to God Why not let Him have His way today?