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Never Say It’ Hopeless       Jer. 18:1-15      July 03, 2011


Introduction

Perhaps you have seen a potter at Silver Dollar City or Eureka Springs. These presentations are very well

done and illustrate this passage of Scripture. It is great to see a likeness as to how God can work in the life of one who needs a reshaping. Jeremiah got a new message about the Lord=s will as he watched the potter. Israel had become flawed but God was going to reshape her and would use Jeremiah in the process. God=s work at times may not seem right, but we cannot correctly judge until we see the final product. Then it will be clear

we must Never Say It’s Hopeless.  



1.   Never Say It’s Hopeless but; Appreciate The Lord’s . . Patience. Jer. 18:1-4

A.   Appreciate The Lord’s Patience Revealed Through The Potter’s . . Work . 18:1-2

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I

will reveal My words to you.


B.   Appreciate The Lord’s Patience Revealed Through The Potter’s . .Will. Jer. 18:3-4

3 So I went down to the potter=s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel.

4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter=s hand, so he made it into

another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.


       Does God use the happenings of life sometimes to demonstrate His ways? He used the potter to demonstrate to Jeremiah similarities as to how He might do His work. Perhaps you have seen a potter at Silver Dollar City or at Eureka Springs. This presentations are very well done and the illustrate this passage of Scripture. It is great to see a likeness as to how God can work in the life of one who needs a reshaping. Jeremiah got a new message about the Lord’s will as he watched the potter. Israel had become flawed but God was going to reshape her and He would use Jeremiah in the process. God=s work at time may not seem right but we cannot correctly judge until we see the final product.


2.   Never Say It’s Hopeless but; Appreciate The Lord’s . . Power. Jer. 18:5-10

A.   Appreciate The Lord’s Power To . . Relent His Decisions. 18:5-7

5 The word of the LORD came to me: 6 House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his

clay this is the LORD’s declaration. Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of

Israel. 7 At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down,

and destroy it.

 

B.   Appreciate The Lord’s Power To . . Restore His Decisions. 18:8-10

        8 However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. 9 At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it.


The idea of relenting is not easily conveyed or understood by us. I personally never did a serious study about the difference between relenting and repenting until 20-25 years ago and today I had to go back and look at that study so I could do a better job of explaining the word, “relent.” Here in this passage God tells Jeremiah if the people repent He will relent. Repenting takes an admission of sin and a desire to change one=s ways. God never has to admit sin so He does not repent but when his people repent He relents and provides in response to the change in His people. He is still sovereign!

 

 

 

3.   Never Say It’s Hopeless but; Appreciate The Lord’s . . Plans. Jer. 18:11-15

A.   Appreciate The Lord’s Plans To . . Harm The Disobedient. 18:11-12

11 So now, say to the men o’f Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the LORD says: I am

about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct

your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and

each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.


B.   Appreciate The Lord’s Plans To . . Humiliate The Disobedient. 18:11-12

13 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: Ask among the nations, Who has heard things like these? Virgin

Israel has done a most terrible thing. 14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags? Or does

cold water flowing from a distance ever fail? 15 Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to

false idols that make them stumble in their ways on the ancient roads and walk on new paths, not the

highway. HCSB


Many times people ask how come this harm happened to this particular group of people. The text tell us our disobedience may cause the harm that comes to us. If you drive on the wrong side of the highway you=re driving dangerously and harm may very well happen. Whose fault is it? Now tragedy can happen and be just like the Lord spoke of in Luke 13:4-5 and those verses need to be applied. Most of us have prayed for the people of Joplin and elsewhere where natural disasters have occurred but God promises harm and humiliation for those who are disobedient. But we must Never Say It’s Hopeless. Amen? Amen!