11 “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 for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’
12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’”
If you have ever wondered where the hymns/songs about God being the Potter and us (you) being the clay, it is in the first ten verses of this chapter as well as in Romans 9:20-21, but primarily here in this chapter.
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 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.
The primary difference between Jeremiah and Romans is the former speaks of an entire nation where the latter speaks of individuals. However, it would behoove us to remember an entire nation can be judged if all refuse to turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions thumbing their collective noses at God saying It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil heart.
This is not what God wants for Judah, the southern kingdom. Instead notice in verse eleven He says turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions so He would not implement His plans of disaster for Judah. But because of the stubbornness of their evil hearts He begins to pronounce judgment upon them over the next five verses. These two show what is coming and why
15 Yet my people have forgotten Me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways,
in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways, on roads not built up.
16 Their land will be an object of horror and of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads.
They will even go so far as to attack God’s prophet Jeremiah for they cannot stand to hear him speak the truth of God’s words
18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.”
This should sound very familiar to us as Christians today as many – most? – in our country and others do not wish to hear any teaching of what the Bible says, Old Testament or New Testament. In fact in many cases it is indeed attacked and worse than ignored, made illegal in some instances. You don’t have to be a prophet today to be attacked, you simply have to be a believer in His Word and/or a follower of Christ. Jesus reminds us
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22
While we may be hated for believing His truth, His Word, and accepting His Free Gift of Grace through His son we need only to stand firm holding onto our salvation remembering Paul’s course of action for us:
The only thing that counts is expressing our faith through love. Galatians 6:5b