Can the potter make whatever he wishes?

Jeremiah Bible Background

10.26.2018 – Old Testament: Jer 18.1–6

To read the Bible in a year, read Jeremiah 17–19 on October 26, In the year of our Lord Christ 2018

By Don Ruhl

The Lord had Jeremiah to go and watch a potter work. As the potter turned some clay, it became marred in his hand and he started over:

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!” (Jeremiah 18.1–6).

Can the potter start over if he wishes? Can he or she make whatever they wish? Does the clay or finished product have a right to question what the potter has done?

Also, note that we often think of God in terms of creating us individually, but here God wanted the prophet to know that He creates nations and He does so as it pleases Him.


  • Do you question God’s creation of you?
  • Do you believe that God created your nation?

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