Jeremiah 18:6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
My Life Application Bible notes this about this verse:
As the potter molded or shaped a clay pot on the potter's wheel, defects often appeared. The potter had power over the clay, to permit the defects to remain or to reshape the pot. Likewise, God had power to reshape the nation to conform to his purposes. Our strategy should not be to become mindless and passive...but to be willing and receptive to God's impact on us. As we yield to God, he begins reshaping us into valuable vessels.
God uses object lessons in Jeremiah quite a lot. In our passage we see two of them.
In Chapter 18 we see the potter's clay - God can destroy His people if He wants to, it's a warning to repent before He is forced to bring judgment.
In Chapter 19 it is the broken clay jars - God will smash Judah just as Jeremiah smashed the clay jars. Another warning of impending judgment.
I love the hope of 18:8 if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.
I love the promise of restored relationship, if only the people would repent. God has so much patience! But we cannot presume upon that patience, as we never know when it will run out at last.
God desires restored relationship - but He requires repentance in order to do so. So often we are so desperate for peace in our relationships and family and friends that we adopt a peace at any cost mentality. This is a mistake. Any relationship based on peace at any cost is a superficial one at best, completely fake and destructive at worst. Peace at any cost is too high a price to pay.
Our Matthew passage again warns about the danger of putting on the appearance of holiness while forsaking holiness itself. God will not be mocked. He can see the heart, He knows our motives, and we will reap what we sow.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Jeremiah 20-21; Matthew 24:1-28