Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for July 2

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for July 2

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile


Jeremiah 18:1–12

Remade (1–4)

What Jeremiah saw in the pottery shop would have been familiar to everyone in that day. The potter would slap a lump of moist clay in the middle of the stone wheel.

While working, the potter noticed the pot was not shaping up properly. There was a flaw in the clay, or perhaps it was inferior for delicate work, so the potter would skillfully form it into a different kind of vessel altogether. The potter was in complete control of the clay, and he alone was able to decide what he would do with the clay.

Jeremiah’s visit to the potter was another symbolic act he performed. He had undoubtedly seen a potter at work many times, but on that day Jeremiah was reminded of the sovereignty of God.

Just as a potter determines the shape the clay will take, God our Creator has the authority over every nation and over every person.

Jeremiah also saw hope at the potter’s wheel. As the potter would carefully rework the clay to achieve his desired result, so God does not give up when we fail Him.

If His people repent of their sin, God will forgive them. God continues His patient work in our lives until He makes us what He wants us to be (Phil. 1:6).

Sovereign (5–10)

The symbolism of the potter at work is clear. The potter represents God. The clay represents Israel or any nation. The potter’s wheel is a lesson on the absolute sovereignty of God. It puts an end to pride and silences every boast. If a potter has the authority to do whatever he desires with a lump of clay, then God has absolute authority to do whatever pleases Him with His people.

God reveals to Jeremiah that if any nation would repent of its evil, He would forgive them. This mercy was available even for a nation marked to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed.

There is hope for any nation that will turn to the Lord and repent of their sins.

These verses encourage us to trust in the God who is in complete control. In these challenging days, we must remember that the holy Trinity never meets in an emergency session.

If a nation will turn from its evil, God declared He would “relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.”

The Hebrew verb translated “relent” can mean to be moved to pity and to have compassion for others. It suggests that grief is so deep that God finds an alternate response for the necessity of punishment when we repent. God will have mercy on people who obey His command to repent.

He will also relent concerning the good He had said He would do if they continue in their sin. If people obey God, He will bless them. If people disobey, He will punish them. God deals with us on the basis of the moral choices we make.

Warned (11–12)

The Lord instructed Jeremiah to call the people of Judah to repent of their evil because He was preparing to bring harm against them. Only a radical change would deliver them from God’s judgment.

There was still time to turn from their evil ways and be delivered. Sadly, the people of Judah continued to act according to the stubbornness of their evil hearts.