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The Prophet, in this Chapter, is preaching by type and figure. Under the similitude of a Potter, the Lord showeth his sovereignty. The people are offended at the Prophet's preaching. The Lord threatens them with sore judgments.
It is blessed for every child of God, and much more for all the Prophets of the Lord, I mean the ministers of the Lord, to sit down in silent waiting at the feet of Jesus to be prepared for his service. That public ministry is likely to be blessed, that is the result of divine direction, in silent and private waiting on the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 and Isaiah 41:1 .
Reader! Was not our nature marred by sin after it came out of the hands of our Almighty Potter? Did the Lord throw it away? No! He new made it in Christ Jesus. Oh! what numberless, sweet instructions, arise out of this view of the subject. Blessed Jesus! thou hast not only made thy people new creatures in thee; but by virtue of their union and oneness with thee, they are holier than they were before. And not only so, but from the same source they are now secure, and which as it proved, they were not before, from all possibility of any future marring. Sweet thought!
The Lord himself explains and applies his type of the Potter. And in Jesus how hath the doctrine been fully proved? Surely the Lord can with infinitely more ease create new hearts in his people, and reform both a people and a nation, by the mere sovereignty of his holy word, than the Potter who worketh on vessels of clay, can new make from the broken portions which are marred. But alas! how sin hardens, so as to make the sinner despair, in spite of God's grace, and the declared purposes of God's love, Jeremiah 2:25 .
What a striking expostulation is in the opening of these verses? The Lord sends his people to ask of the heathen, among whom it was never known, of such apostasy from their dunghill gods, as Israel manifested in backsliding from the true God. In hot sultry climates, how grateful is the cold flowing water to the traveller? And was it ever known to be rejected? Whereas Israel revolted continually from the Lord. Reader! let us not confine this subject to Israel of old: but pause and enquire whether the Israel of God now, manifest a closer walking with the Lord? Alas! how disposed are we to leave the fountain of living waters, and to be hewing out to ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, wherein is no water! Jeremiah 2:13 .
Reader! do not hastily pass over this verse. Look through all ages of the Church, and behold the same continually acting over again, towards all the faithful servants of the Lord. One of the surest marks, that that minister is faithful, and his services blessed, who is abused by the ungodly; and both himself and his labours made the drunkard's song. It would be a melancholy prospect in a gospel Church, where the accused adversary made no opposition. Matthew 5:11-12 ; John 16:32-33 .
Prayer is the sure relief of an afflicted mind; and more especially if men persecute, where can we find support but in God? The apparent harshness of the Prophet's prayer, ceases to be so, when we consider, for whom those judgments are desired, namely, the sworn foes of God and of his Christ. Reader! you will always find relief from reading scriptures of this kind spoken by Jesus, or his servants, as referring to the seed of the serpent. The war began between Abel and Cain, and hath continued ever since, and will continue, until time is lost in eternity. And let not the Reader forget, that the happiness of the redeemed in heaven, can only consist in the everlasting and uninterrupted enjoyment of God and the Lamb. The day of vengeance, and the year of the Redeemed are connected in one. The everlasting destruction of Satan, and his kingdom, his people, children, and empire, form as grand a part in the scheme of Christ's triumphs, as the everlasting happiness of his chosen. Oh! for grace to take part with all that belongs to Christ, and to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Isaiah 63:4 ; Revelation 12:10 ; Ruth 1:16-17 .
READER! let it be your delight and mine, to go down very frequently to the Potter's house, where the Lord will cause us to hear his word. Surely, we may cry out with the Church of old upon every occasion of life; but now O Lord! thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our Potter; and we all are the work of thine hands. And shall the thing formed, say to him that formed him, why hast thou made me thus? And if it be (as that it undoubtedly is) the Lord's privilege and prerogative, to make vessels of the same clay, to different purposes, and some to honour, and some to dishonour; shall not the Lord new make also, as he pleaseth; and not only new make, but use also, to the different purposes of his own sacred will and pleasure? Lord! I pray thee, do by me, and appoint me, and use me as it seemeth best to thine unerring counsel, purpose, and will: but oh! new make me in Christ Jesus, and make me a vessel to the master's use, to serve him here, and glorify him to all eternity!
Lord! to all the devices of the ungodly, and all the malice of the foe and his agents, against thy faithful ones, like the Prophet; give to thy servants grace, and to their enemies confusion, that in thy strength, all thine exercised family may be strong, and made more than conquerors, through thee, and thy great salvation.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 18". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26