Jeremiah 18:5-12: The hinge of repentance.(please click here for todays Bible passage)

‘ ‘’…can I not do with you as this potter does?’’ declares the LORD.’ (6).

  • God is in charge. Don’t fight Him or resist Him. Yield to Him. Be soft and malleable in His Hands. Go with Him as He forms and shapes you. Be quick to repent when He shows you the things that are wrong in your life.
  • God looks for change. Repentance is the ‘hinge’ upon which so much turns. The people of Judah deserved God’s judgment for their sins. They had been repeatedly warned to turn from evil and back to the Lord. He did not want to inflict this punishment on them, so again He called them to repent; to change their minds (the literal meaning of ‘repent’) about the way they were living. (Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of behaviour.) The statement in (7, 8) should have encouraged them to ‘turn’ when the call came in (11). But they would not (12). Their heels were well and truly dug in; their attitudes were entrenched. So the people were going to be ‘’marred’’ (4). However, they would still be in the hands of the ‘Potter’ as they were re-shaped in judgement, including deportation to a foreign land (13-17).

 

  • God gives freedom to choose. ‘’The Lord is absolutely sovereign, but He does not act in a mindless or mechanical manner. Both His threats and His promises are conditional; they are carried out in accordance with our response. If we respond rightly; He cancels the threat; if we respond wrongly, He cancels the promise. Thus, within His overall sovereignty, God has granted human beings a certain degree of freedom to choose the right response or the wrong one.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102. ‘’Note carefully the cardinal rule of prophecy which is enunciated here, that both the promises and threats of God are not absolute but conditional. Judah often presumed on the divine promises, viewing them from the point of view of privilege and not of responsibility, in spite of prophetic warnings of the disaster that would overtake such an attitude.’’ E. Cundall.

 

‘’ ‘…Turn back from your doomed way of life. Straighten out your lives.’ ‘’But they’ll just say, ‘Why should we? What’s the point? We’ll live just the way we’ve always lived, doom or no doom.’’’ The Message. Many people still respond in this way today, as the gospel message calls them (and us) to repent of sin and trust in Jesus (Mark 1:4, 14, 15). The call to repentance has never been popular, but repentance is the hinge upon which so much turns.

‘ ‘’…can I not do with you as this potter does?’’ declares the LORD.’ (6).

  • God is in charge. Don’t fight Him or resist Him. Yield to Him. Be soft and malleable in His Hands. Go with Him as He forms and shapes you. Be quick to repent when He shows you the things that are wrong in your life.
  • God looks for change. Repentance is the ‘hinge’ upon which so much turns. The people of Judah deserved God’s judgment for their sins. They had been repeatedly warned to turn from evil and back to the Lord. He did not want to inflict this punishment on them, so again He called them to repent; to change their minds (the literal meaning of ‘repent’) about the way they were living. (Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of behaviour.) The statement in (7, 8) should have encouraged them to ‘turn’ when the call came in (11). But they would not (12). Their heels were well and truly dug in; their attitudes were entrenched. So the people were going to be ‘’marred’’ (4). However, they would still be in the hands of the ‘Potter’ as they were re-shaped in judgement, including deportation to a foreign land (13-17).

 

  • God gives freedom to choose. ‘’The Lord is absolutely sovereign, but He does not act in a mindless or mechanical manner. Both His threats and His promises are conditional; they are carried out in accordance with our response. If we respond rightly; He cancels the threat; if we respond wrongly, He cancels the promise. Thus, within His overall sovereignty, God has granted human beings a certain degree of freedom to choose the right response or the wrong one.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102. ‘’Note carefully the cardinal rule of prophecy which is enunciated here, that both the promises and threats of God are not absolute but conditional. Judah often presumed on the divine promises, viewing them from the point of view of privilege and not of responsibility, in spite of prophetic warnings of the disaster that would overtake such an attitude.’’ E. Cundall.

 

‘’ ‘…Turn back from your doomed way of life. Straighten out your lives.’ ‘’But they’ll just say, ‘Why should we? What’s the point? We’ll live just the way we’ve always lived, doom or no doom.’’’ The Message. Many people still respond in this way today, as the gospel message calls them (and us) to repent of sin and trust in Jesus (Mark 1:4, 14, 15). The call to repentance has never been popular, but repentance is the hinge upon which so much turns.