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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Jeremiah 18

Verses 1-23

God's Pity for Failure

Jeremiah 18:4

I. In, every action of the potter God was speaking, and Jeremiah heard and understood. What was the message? This: God's pity for failure 'It was marred, so he made it again' Why did the potter not leave the broken and marred clay, and use a fresh and flawless piece? There was plenty of it at his disposal. Why? Because he knew that if the obstacle that marred it was removed the vessel could be perfected, and so he tried again. Jeremiah was despondent, depressed, and disappointed. Israel, whom God had chosen and moulded for His purpose, had resisted and rebelled, and such thoughts as these were passing through the prophet's mind: What was God going to do with Israel? Would He cast her aside? Would He take another people and use another people for His purpose and praise? In the potter's house that morning God answered these questions, and silenced his doubts and fears. God would not cast Israel off, for as the potter had taken the broken, marred clay and made it again, so would God gather Israel to Himself once more and try and make Israel again. God was giving Israel another chance.

II. God has an ideal for every one of us. Every revolution of the wheel and every touch of His hand has been to mould and make us according to the Divine pattern. God's ideal for each of us was that we should become like Jesus Christ.

Why have we failed? It is the fault of the clay the clay is marred, there is something concealed in the clay which collides with the potter's will, and try as He may, He cannot make us until that obstruction is removed. The reason of our failure is in ourselves, we have failed in God's purpose because we refused to let Him have His way with us.

III. And what will He do with us forlorn failures? Has He become so weary of our failure as to abandon all hope? He is not weary of forgiving. He is not tired of trying; His mercy endureth for ever and His patience is as enduring as His mercy. He has hope for the most hopeless. Let God have His way with you, for only by your willingness can He succeed. Full surrender to His will is the absolute essential.

H. Kenward, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lxviii. 1905, p. 315.

References. XVIII. 4. R. Waddy Moss, The Discipline of the Soul, p. 89. D. D. F. MacDonald, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lxix. 1906, p. 22. J. Parker, Studies in Texts, vol. i. p. 18. XVIII. 6. A. Macleod, Days of Heaven Upon Earth, p. 23. XVIII. 11. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xliii. No. 2547. XVIII. 12. Ibid. vol. xii. No. 684. XVIII. 14. J. Parker, Christian World Pulpit, vol. li. 1897, p. 164. XIX. 11. F. E. Paget, Sermons for Special Occasions, p. 29.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 18". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/jeremiah-18.html. 1910.