to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
September 04, 2019 – Wednesday
Jeremiah 18:5-10 NIV
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me.
6 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.
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.
9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted,
10 and if it does evil in My sight and does not obey Me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
This concept of God as the potter and each of us as the clay made has made its way into many songs and into the New Testament as well. Here are a few songs: Hands of the Potter, He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away, and Change My Heart Oh God among many others. The Apostle Paul in Romans 9 about God’s sovereignty said words that are very similar to what we would find in Job as well.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist His will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
Now back to our verses for today where beginning in verse six God reminds Israel of His right to do as He pleases with His creation much as a potter will do as he pleases with the clay he is working with. What is God to do with His creation if it does evil in My sight and does not obey Me? God of course will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it. But wait! Just before He said, in verse eight, if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
Thus what we see here is God’s right to judgment and His right to be merciful, especially to what would be considered a formally marred vessel as the second song above indicates. Make no mistake, for this to occur it requires repentance and accepting God direction in one’s life. A radical change in so many ways where God’s will is put first and the individual’s will seeks to do God’s will.
The sovereignty of God is reflected in Psalm two as well where we read
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are My son; today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Which makes its way into Revelation two when Jesus concludes His remarks to the church of Thyatira
26 To the one who is victorious and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from My Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star.
We must never forget we are part of God’s creation and subject to His sovereignty. However, because of His great love for us, He provided a direct way for us to turn from our sin, our evil ways, and that is to turn to His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22