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The Prophet's sermon is here delivered, under the similitude of a Potter's bottle, by way of representing the broken state of the Jews.
There are several weighty circumstances which strike our m in d, on reading this sermon of Jeremiah. Let the Reader observe in the first place, the Persons whom the Prophet was to gather to hear it: the ancients of the people and of the priests. Is it not rather strange, that in a time of such general departure from the truth, and from the service of ordinances, that the hearts of those men should be inclined to attend the Prophet's ministry? But no doubt, the thing was of the Lord. Reader! if the Lord would incline men in our day to attend a preached gospel, the same would take place now. But what an awful consideration is it, that the word of truth is so evil spoken of, and so little regarded. We may observe further, that the place of preaching was no less remarkable; not the temple, but the valley of the son of Hinnom. So called from Joshua 15:8 . See also 2 Kings 23:10 . Here, where Israel had provoked the Lord to anger with their idolatries and sacrifices; in the same spot should the Chaldeans put them to shame and destruction by the sword. Never were calamities more striking, nor lamented more bitterly. See Lamentations 4:10 . The third observation on this sermon, is the faithfulness of the Preacher. Who can behold Jeremiah thus going on from day to day, undaunted, and without fear, but must admire the firmness of the man, and the glory of the cause in which he was engaged. The fourth remark is, the affirmation the Prophet, at the Lord's command made at the close of his Sermon, in breaking the bottle, to intimate the certainty of it, and as an assurance of what the Lord had said, that as clay in the hand of the Potter: so were the people in the Lord's hands. Jeremiah 18:6 . And lastly, to add no more: it should be observed, on the Prophet's sermon, that as the Lord had said, so it came to pass. Jeremiah 52:4-11 .
It should seem, by what is here said, that when the Prophet had finished his Sermon, at Tophet; , and had broken the bottle, in confirmation of what he had said before their eyes, that he returned under the influence of the same Holy Spirit, to add an inference in the courts of the temple. It doth not appear, that the Lord commanded him so to do: but the Prophet took it for granted, that it would be right. It is blessed to see men faithful to God and to souls. The Apostle commended Timothy to be in season and out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2 . Jeremiah here set a noble example, that he was delivered from the fear of man. Lord! make all thy servants in the ministry faithful, that whether men will hear, or whether they wilt forbear, that they may be free from the blood of souls. Ezekiel 2:7 ; Acts 20:25-27 .
WHAT a most lovely and engaging representation is here made in the character of the Prophet, of a faithful minister. Oh? that it were the Lord's will, that all who stand to minister in the things of salvation, and stand up between an holy God, and unholy sinners had the salvation of souls at heart as Jeremiah had, and felt no less a zeal for the Lord's honour and glory. How truly ought they to be affected with the awful responsibility of their commission! How unweariedly ought they to labour, night and day in such a service! And in those instances, where, like the Prophet, their labours are despised, and their persons abased, deeply to feel the want of success, and to weep between the porch and the altar, with cries to God in prayer!
Precious Jesus! let that compassion of thine, which filled thy tender heart, when weeping over Jerusalem, constrain thee Lord now, in beholding the state of sin, and the impending Tophet of destruction, to send faithful labourers into thy service. Oh! Lord! commission them: ordain them: fill their mouth with arguments, and their hearers hearts with grace, that they may not spend their strength in vain, and their labour for nought. Yea Lord! come thy self in the power of thy blessed Spirit, and turn to thyself a people of a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany