Scripture Reading:
Jer. 18:4; Rom. 9:21-23; Acts 9:15

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us.”(2 Corinthians 4:7)
earthen vessels

We have seen that God is the Potter, the church is the house of God and the work of God is to build up the Body of Christ. However, the book of Jeremiah reveals much more to us. The potter is doing his work, that is, he is working on the vessels. What is happening to the vessels? Let us read Jeremiah 18:4: "But the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand; so he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good for the potter to make."

The people of Israel were likened to an earthenware jar, a vessel (Jer. 19), and in the New Testament, we are compared to vessels. Romans 9:21-23 refers to us as vessels of mercy; Acts 9:15 shows that Paul was a "chosen vessel" to God to bear His name before the Gentiles and kings in many places; 2 Timothy 2:20-21 states that there are vessels unto honor and unto dishonor; in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the apostle Paul declares that within us, the earthen vessels, there is a treasure, which is Christ.

God created man of clay as a vessel to contain Him; this is why man is considered to be an earthen vessel. This simple earthen vessel exists for the sole purpose of containing God. Jeremiah saw a vessel being worked on by the potter's hands, which, for some reason, was spoiled. But then the potter made another vessel from the same clay. What does this mean in our experience? God has worked Himself into us through His word but for some reason sometimes we are rebellious. We may say, "Oh, why does God let these things happen to me? Why doesn't He take this problem out of my life? Because of this I'm not going to the meeting anymore. If He doesn't do what I want, I don't want to know anymore about the Lord." It is then that we realize that the vessel has been spoiled. But, thanks to the Lord, the clay is still in the Potter's hands. As long as we are in God's hands, there is hope, because He can make another vessel out of us.

In Jeremiah 19:11 there is also a vessel that is broken but it cannot be repaired anymore; the clay became hard and thus became useless and ended up being buried in Topheth. Topheth typifies the outer darkness and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, which will be the place where the "broken vessels" (all the sons of God that did not allow Him to transform them) will remain for one thousand years, that they might be recovered. This does not refer to eternal perdition because we know that once we are saved, we will never lose our salvation. However, the children of God who do not obey His words or accept His discipline will receive discipline for a thousand years so that they will be able to enter into the New Jerusalem. Today we have the opportunity of choosing which kind of vessel we would like to be: either we will allow the Lord to work in us and transform us according to His will, or we will be molded and remade during a period of a thousand years. May we renew our consecration to the Lord and remain in His hands that He might work in us until we are fully conformed to the image of His Son. Let us place ourselves in His hands and not harden our heart to the Lord's will.

A vessel cannot be formed if the clay is dry or it will break. Therefore, the clay must be moistened frequently while it is being formed. Spiritually speaking, the same thing happens to us. We need to be constantly watered by the living water. The Lord is the fountain, the spring of living water that is flowing to quench our thirst and to form us. If we feel that our heart has become hard, we should immediately run to the fountain of living water. Only then can we be submissive and not risk being broken. This happens practically whenever we call on the name of the Lord and enjoy Him in His word, in fellowship with the saints and in prayer. It is important to voluntarily remain in the hands of the Potter because, even though we may "break," we can repent and He can again make us into a vessel unto honor in His house.

God's desire is that we would be submissive in His hands. The work of transformation can only be carried out effectively by God Himself. Our responsibility is to remain flexible in His hands. Otherwise, how will He be able to form the hard clay without breaking it? We cannot be dry, we must always drink the living water, calling on the Lord at all times: Oh, Lord Jesus! Whenever we are in fellowship with the Lord Jesus and loving His words, we are like submissive clay, easy to be formed. This does not mean that we will not make mistakes. As long as we are alive we will be subject to making mistakes. Nonetheless, when we are soft, we can repent more quickly and turn again to the Lord. Then, when the Lord points out a mistake, we will not argue with Him. We will not say, "Why can't I do that if everyone else is doing it?" On the contrary, we will confess our mistake and our rebellion. In this way, when the mistakes of the vessel are exposed, the Potter has the freedom to undo the vessel and remake it again.

Key Point:
What do we need to do if our heart is becoming hard?