Jeremiah has demonstrated that Israel can by its own actions alter the course of God’s plans. Although they are like a pot that is spoiled on the potter’s wheel and headed for destruction, repentance can bring about a change. But Israel would not repent, and the pot is now hardened, complete and ready for judgment! It seems that when a nation becomes like Judah and turns its back on God that the people and the institutions of that nation begin to suppress expression of the truth.

In the previous chapter we saw how difficult it was for Jeremiah to cope with the pressure of being God’s spokesman. The message he had to deliver was outrageously difficult and the response he received was not for the faint hearted.

The 18th and 19th chapters of Jeremiah concern making (and breaking) pottery! In chapter 18 the pot is formed and in chapter 19 a finished pot is in view. Both are pictures of the people of Israel and their interaction with God: the Lord is the potter and Israel is the pot.

Why?

What’s the worst job you can imagine? Perhaps a task for which success is near impossible, a task that is thankless and likely to end in failure.  I suspect that Theresa May could claim to have been given such a task! Jeremiah had perhaps the worst of all tasks: his people were heading for utter disaster (disaster that makes Brexit look like a walk in the park!)

It was the final of the US open tennis championship last Saturday: Serena Williams versus Naomi Osaka. A winner of 23 grand slam titles versus a 20 year old yet to win a major title. Serena Williams was a set down when she was given a warning for illegal side-line ‘coaching’, then at 3-2 up in set 2, Williams was given a point penalty for smashing her racket in rage and at 3-4 down she initiated a tirade of abuse at the umpire.

It was sometime in the early 1970s and I was in a chemistry class at Secondary school. We were being taught the wonders of the atom and sub-atomic particles. We were taught that each atom has a nucleus and in that nucleus are protons and neutrons.