The Scriptorium

The Persistent Prophet

God gave Jeremiah two forms of revelation. Jeremiah 18-21

The Potter and the Vessel: Jeremiah 18-21 (7)

Pray Psalm 86.10-12.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.

Sing Psalm 86.10-12.

(Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
For You are great, You wondrous deeds do;
You are the only and sovereign Lord.
Teach me Your way, let me give heed to,
with all my heart, Savior, all Your Word!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
praise Your Name forever, Lord!

Review Jeremiah chapters 18-21; meditate on Jeremiah 19.1-3.

1. What two ways of revealing His will did God send Jeremiah to use in these chapters?

2. How did these two forms of revelation reinforce one another?

God’s love for His people is evident in the extent to which He bore with them in their sin and continued trying, by various means, to get them to repent and return to Him. Jeremiah had been preaching throughout Jerusalem and all Judea. His message was ever the same: Repent, for the judgment of God is coming.

But the people would not listen. Their leaders not only would not listen, but they subjected Jeremiah to public humiliation by putting him in the stocks.

Potter’s vessels of various kinds would have been in widespread and common use among the people of Jerusalem and Judah. For God to choose this aspect of local culture to embody His message to His people made perfectly good sense. Once they’d seen Jeremiah break that flask in the Valley of Hinnom, they would think of that whenever they went to get a pitcher of water, or when they threw out an old flask or bought a new one. The Word preached and the Word dramatized would be in all their minds, and they would be without excuse once God’s judgment began.

The flask by itself could not proclaim God’s Word. But working with the Word, the potter’s vessels brought clarity, drama, and a powerful reminder, impressing the Word of God on the hearts and minds of all the people.

Jeremiah was a persistent prophet. He was beaten and subjected to public mocking. But that’s just the beginning. More misery is to come. But he stayed the course of his ministry; and though at times he seemed to have doubts, yet he knew that God had called him to this work, and he would not fail to perform it.

Just so, God has called us to the work of seeking His Kingdom in our Personal Mission Field. Let the example of Jeremiah bolster our resolve and shape our outlook as we daily take up our callings with faithfulness and joy.

1. How did the potter’s vessels reinforce Jeremiah’s preaching?

2. Jesus did this same thing in many ways. Can you give an example?

3. How should these two forms of revelation work to help you in your walk with the Lord?

The Prophet is here bidden to buy an earthen vessel of the potter, and at the meeting of the people to break it, that all might understand that they were like earthen vessels, and that being thus admonished of their fragility, they might no longer be proud, as though they possessed a firm and perpetual state of happiness. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 19.1-3

Remind me of my calling throughout this day, Lord, so that I…

Pray Psalm 86.1-9.

Call out to God for His help and protection, and to prepare you for the work before you in your Personal Mission Field.

Sing Psalm 86.1-9.
Psalm 86.1-9 (Andrews: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)
Bow down Your ear, O Lord and hear me;
I am afflicted and much in need!
Rescue my godly soul, be near me;
save me, O God, all my crying heed!
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all day long I pray and plead.

Lift up my soul, fill me with gladness;
Lord You are good, You will soon forgive.
Show me abundant lovingkindness;
let all who call on You ever live.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
heed to my poor pleading give.

When in my trouble, Lord, I call You,
You answer me; there is none like You!
There are no works like Yours, and all whom
You have created shall worship You.
Lord, be gracious to me, Lord, be gracious to me,
all shall glory give to You!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore