Big Question: Can’t God do with you (Israel) what the potter does with the clay? [The Potter and the Clay: YOU Be Reshaped or Be Shattered; YOU are always personally responsible to repent; Divine sovereignty vs. personal freedom; God’s immutable plan vs. man’s (apparent) freedom of choice]
“He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel’” (Jer 18:6). “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster (ra’ah) for you and devising a plan against you. So turn (shub) from your evil (ra’ah) ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions’” (Jer 18:11). “But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil (ra’ah) hearts’” (Jer 18:12).
- Wet Clay (Jeremiah 18): Repentance is still possible.
- Dry Clay (Jeremiah 19): The time of repentance is past.
- Response (Jeremiah 20): “Let’s beat him up good and shut him up!”