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Jeremiah 18

Talks for Growing Christians

Potters and Persecutors

Jeremiah 18

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Lesson Number 18

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is not the same as fatalism.
  2. The response to God’s message is hate for the messenger.

Practical Application

  1. Pray as Jeremiah prayed!

Questions

  1. In chapters 13, 14 and 16, we have seen object lessons that God had Jeremiah give to the people of Judah in order to communicate His message of coming judgment. Here in chapter 18, the object lesson was given in a different way. Can you identify the difference?
  2. What was the meaning of the object lesson of the potter and the clay?
  3. Is the truth of human choice found within the sphere of God’s sovereignty?
  4. The object lesson of the potter and the clay here in chapter 18 concerned God’s sovereignty in relation to nations (including Israel). In Romans 9:21, Paul applies the same illustration to show the truth of God’s sovereignty in relation to _____________________.
  5. Identify a verse in this chapter which forcefully points out the direct and willful disobedience of the people, even in their own words!

Answers

  1. In chapters 13, 14 and 16, the object lessons were observed by the people. Here in chapter 18 the object lesson is observed by Jeremiah and then Jeremiah gave the meaning to the people.
  2. The clear meaning of the object lesson is the absolute sovereignty of God in his dealing with all nations, including Israel.
  3. Yes. People make choices and their choices do affect results and outcomes. This does not, however, take away from God’s sovereignty.
  4. Paul’s use of the illustration shows the truth of God’s sovereignty in relation to individuals.
  5. These words in verse 12, “So we will walk according to our own plans . . .,” clearly show the intentional and willful disobedience of the people in spite of God’s warning.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Why were the requests of Jeremiah’s prayer appropriate? Was Jeremiah introducing conditions in his requests on which the Lord had not already pronounced judgment? Would it be appropriate for believers today to pray a similar prayer in public regarding our nation today?

Challenge

  1. Have you ever found yourself hoping bad things would happen to someone who has brought a sin in your life to your attention or to the attention of others? Or have you ever actually devised ways to discredit someone who has rightfully questioned your sinful actions? This chapter indicates that when God’s people are willfully disobedient and when they “forget Him” they are inclined to “hate the messenger” of God’s warnings and/or judgment. Pray that God would keep you sensitive to his warnings and willing to repent before Him.

Key Verses

  • “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!” Jeremiah 18:6

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