Jeremiah 18The Voice (VOICE)
18 The word of the Eternal came to Jeremiah.
Now God’s message comes through another prophetic drama played out in a potter’s shop somewhere in the city. The prophet sees an ordinary event but receives an extraordinary message.
Eternal One: 2 Go down to the potter’s shop in the city, and wait for My word.
3 So I went down to the potter’s shop and found him making something on his wheel. 4 And as I watched, the clay vessel in his hands became flawed and unusable. So the potter started again with the same clay. He crushed and squeezed and shaped it into another vessel that was to his liking. 5 In that moment, I heard again God’s word for His rebellious people.
Eternal One: 6 O people of Israel, can I not do the same to you as this potter has done? You are like clay in My hands—I will mold you as I see fit. 7 If I declare that I am going to uproot, stamp out, or destroy a nation or kingdom because of its wicked ways, and 8 then that same nation I warned turns away from its evil, then I will change My plans. In My compassion, I will not destroy it. 9 If at some other time I declare that I am going to build up and establish a nation, 10 but then it ignores My voice, thus committing evil right in front of Me, I will hold back the good I had planned for them.
(to Jeremiah) 11 Now, prophet, say to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem these words from the Eternal: “Look! I am planning and shaping disaster against you. Like clay on a wheel, I will shape you and your destiny. Turn back from your evil ways—all of you—before it is too late. Do what is right and good.” 12 But they will tell you, “It’s no use trying to persuade us. We have our own thoughts about how we should live, and each of us is firmly committed to our own way, evil or not.”
13 Who has heard of such betrayal as this? Ask the nations around you.
The strong words of Jeremiah and the warnings from God are difficult to hear. But it seems when evil is entrenched in a life, when people stubbornly persist in their wicked ways, such words are not just difficult, they are infuriating. The people of Judah now conspire again to silence this outspoken prophet.
People of Judah (to one another): 18 Come on. Let’s devise a plan against Jeremiah, for there is no way the teaching of our priests, the wisdom of our elders, or the words of our prophets are going to be lost and proven wrong. Do we really need to hear any more from him? Let’s attack his reputation, ruin his standing among us, and ignore everything he has to say.
19 Jeremiah: O Eternal my God, please listen to me.
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