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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 18

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 18 (HCSB)

Parable of the Potter

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. 4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.

5 The word of the Lord came to me: 6 “House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. 7 At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. 8 However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. 9 At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. 10 However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. 11 So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. 12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”

Deluded Israel

13 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:

Ask among the nations, Who has heard things like these? Virgin Israel has done a most terrible thing.

14 Does the snow of Lebanon ever leave the highland crags? Or does cold water flowing from a distance ever fail?

15 Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to false idols that make them stumble in their ways on the ancient roads and walk on new paths, not the highway.

16 They have made their land a horror, a perpetual object of scorn; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and shake his head.

17 I will scatter them before the enemy like the east wind. I will show them My back and not My face on the day of their calamity.

Plot against Jeremiah

18 Then certain ones said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah, for instruction will never be lost from the priest, or counsel from the wise, or an oracle from the prophet. Come, let’s denounce him and pay no attention to all his words.”

19 Pay attention to me, Lord. Hear what my opponents are saying!

20 Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before You to speak good on their behalf, to turn Your anger from them.

21 Therefore, hand their children over to famine, and pour the sword’s power on them. Let their wives become childless and widowed, their husbands slain by deadly disease, their young men struck down by the sword in battle.

22 Let a cry be heard from their houses when You suddenly bring raiders against them, for they have dug a pit to capture me and have hidden snares for my feet.

23 But You, Lord, know all their deadly plots against me. Do not wipe out their guilt; do not blot out their sin before You. Let them be forced to stumble before You; deal with them in the time of Your anger.


SIN (verse 12): For most of my life, I have lived in the exact same way that this verse mentions. I have not been able to see the hope You provide through all things, so I have leaned on my own understanding and my own selfish desires for so much in this life. Please forgive me for this self-righteousness, Father. Forgive me for following my own broken plans due to my default of stubbornness. Help me to remember and learn from those experiences, so that I do not repeat them in the future.

PROMISE (verses 5-10): You make us a promise about Your promises, Father, using a potter as the example to paint a picture for us. You promise us that even when You have assured us of great things, that if we are not faithful to You then that can quickly change. The same goes for the inverse of that; if we are assured by You of bad things to occur, then our faithfulness to You can also change that outcome. Help me to remember this promise, Father, so that I always remain faithful to You through all things, regardless of what the outcome is; regardless of the stresses I’ll go through to glorify You. Help my default be You in all things instead of my own selfishness and my own flawed understanding.

ATTITUDE (verse 12): The same verse as my sin confession applies also to my attitude. Help me to no longer have a default attitude of stubbornness and selfishness in my heart, Father. Help me to no longer live in a way that relies on my own plans. Remind me and encourage me that there is always hope in You if I remain faithful to You, no matter the trials I am going through in the moment. Help me to see Your big picture in my life, instead of the miniscule negativity in the moment that I often harp on. Remind me that Your will for my life is always greater than my own, even when I do not truly understand where You are taking me, Father.

COMMAND (verse 11): You command us to turn from our evil ways and to correct our ways and our deeds. This has been a tough one for me as it’s quite difficult to change a habit that I’ve lived in for decades. Continue to encourage me through my faith walk with You, Father, as well as give me good counsel and correction when I need that remind or that push to go in Your direction for my life and not my own. Help me to no longer wander the broken paths that I often default to in this life.

EXAMPLE (verses 3-4): There are many examples You give us in this Scripture, but these two verses speak the loudest to me as they are such a clear picture of how You work in us. The potter is working on a clay vase and notices an abnormality that requires him to change his original plans for the vase. This is just like us living our lives in a way that You do not want us to live, so You change Your plans for us slightly as a result of the flaw we introduced in our lives. Thank You for being a master designer in our lives, always finding ways to use us for Your kingdom no matter how many flaws we introduce to our lives, Father. Thank You for being a masterful potter of our lives, so that we can still be turned into an amazing creation through You, no matter how many mistakes we’ve made in our lives.

*DAILY NOTE: You’ve given me so many reminders in Jeremiah 18 that my brokenness and mistakes from my past do not define the outcome of my life. Yes, they can be a learning experience and they may change the chosen path You wanted for me, but they do not define me. Thank You for being such an amazing craftsman for my life, Father. Thank You for being able to take all the flaws and mistakes in my life and using them to create an even more unique masterpiece for Your kingdom. As said in many songs, You are still working on me as I am still a work-in-progress. Thank You for never giving up on me and always finding ways to work through and around the flaws and mistakes of my past, so that I am still slowly but surely turned into a masterpiece of Your creation that is able to glorify You regardless of my past, present, and future.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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