182 - Jeremiah and the Broken Pot
God sent another prophet to Judah during the reign of King Josiah. His name was Jeremiah. At first, he didn’t want the job that God had called him to do. “I am too young!” he argued. But God informed him, “I chose you for this job before you were even born. I will tell you exactly what to say. I know the people won’t listen to you and will try to kill you. But don’t worry. I will be with you and protect you.” God wanted Jeremiah to remind the people of Judah how much they had loved Him and been devoted to Him in the past. “Contrast that with how wicked they are now,” God said. “They refuse to serve me. Instead, they worship foreign gods in the land that I gave them. So now I will remove them from my land. I will take them to a foreign land where they will serve foreigners and worship their gods. Babylon is coming to take them away. It is useless for Judah to resist the invasion, because I am the One causing it to happen.” For years God explained to Jeremiah all the reasons why Judah would be punished and sent into exile. And for years Jeremiah relayed these reasons to the people. Often, he would weep and pray for them. Finally, God told him it was time to stop crying. He said, “These people are heading for disaster and there is nothing you can do about it. Not even if Moses or Samuel stood before me to plead for them would I change my mind! (see Jeremiah 15:1).” One day the Lord sent Jeremiah to a potter’s house. There he saw a potter making a clay jar on his potter’s wheel. When the potter spotted a flaw in the pot he was molding, he smashed the clay together and started over. The Lord said, “This is what I am doing to Israel. They are like clay in my hands.” Then He told Jeremiah to buy a finished pot and go to the rulers of Judah. “Throw the jar down and break it while they are all watching,” God instructed. “Tell them, this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will smash this nation and the city of Jerusalem just like this clay pot is smashed. It cannot be repaired!’” Jeremiah did what God told him to do. But one of the priests didn’t like the message he brought. He became angry and had Jeremiah beaten and put in stocks. The next day, when the priest went to release him from the stocks, Jeremiah said, “The Lord is giving you a new name. Instead of Pashhur, it is now ‘Terror,’ because in terror you will see your friends killed in the streets; in terror you will watch the city be destroyed; and in terror you and your family will be led off to Babylon where you will die and be buried.” Meanwhile, King Josiah was killed in the battle with Pharaoh Necho (see #180 - June 29), and things began to fall apart very quickly for the people of Judah. They crowned Josiah’s son Jehoahaz as their new king, but he led the people back to idol worship. Three months later, Pharaoh Necho returned to Judah and captured Jerusalem. He took King Jehoahaz to Egypt as a prisoner and made the people of Judah his vassals. The Pharaoh set up another one of Josiah’s sons, Jehoiakim, as the new king of Judah, but Jehoiakim was even more wicked than his brother.
Is God waiting for you to accept the unique role that He created just for you? Are you putting off serving Him until you are older and have your life ‘put together’ just the way you want it to be? You won’t ever be truly fulfilled or happy until you are partnering with God in the special position, He designed just for you!