Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Point of No Return?

August 15
Today’s Bible Reading:  Jeremiah 18-20; Psalm 93; John 17

Journal Entry on a passage from today’s reading: 
Topic: Judgment

SCRIPTURE:  Jeremiah 18:1-8, 19:10-11

18: 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. (Jer 18:1-9 NIV)

19: 10 "Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, 'This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter's jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. (Jer 19:10-11 NIV)


Today’s reading in Jeremiah is chapters 18-20. The prophetic imagery in these chapters seems to depict God’s chosen people Israel. In a broader sense these passages could be speaking of the USA today—as clay being shaped. In verse 4 the pot being shaped by the potter had become marred and needed to be reshaped. When other hands have been allowed to shape the clay it is as if God the potter in verse 15 saying, “my people have forgotten me;” but destruction is not yet. The people—the nation—may yet repent and place themselves once again in the hands of the Potter. There comes a day eventually when the shape is set in the kiln. That may be seen as the day of no return.  


In Jeremiah chapter 19 the Lord tells Jeremiah to take the finished clay jar and break it while the people watch and in verse 11 says, “I will smash this nation…  just as this potter's jar is smashed and cannot be repaired.”

When will my nation the USA reach the point of no return? Have we already reached that point? I do not believe so. There seems no doubt, however, that we have been increasingly rejecting the shaping of the hand of The Potter in favor of other hands shaping us in ways that have marred us. Woe to us if we become hardened in the kiln of human experience and history.


Lord have mercy on the land of my birth, a nation conceived in liberty and ordained by You. Raise up leaders that will lead us in Your ways—in true principles of rightness and justice. Open the eyes of our spirits—the individual spirits that collectively comprise our population—to see, understand and repent beforeYou. Keep us from ever reaching the hardness of that point which leads only to broken destruction.
By Your mercy in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.  -AP

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