The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
The picture that comes to mind when the Potter’s house is mentioned is one that is not so beautiful yet not ugly. The air surrounding the Potter’s house is dusty and the floor messy with broken pieces of vessels and other materials required for work. This is not a place you step in clean and come out untainted…not in the least.
Yet in the midst of all that dust, clay, and seeming ugliness are vessels aesthetically and artistically designed to elicit praise…tease the senses…create beauty and bring about awe. Vessels, whose appearance puts you in between the beginning and the end…the ugly and the beautiful…the void and the form; That gets you wondering how something so colourless (lacking beauty) could be worked on to the extent that it inspires the senses to imagine blaze in every bleakness around… and beauty in plainness. To understand the mystery surrounding this transformation, you need to join Jeremiah at the Potter’s house.
Ready? Here we go…!
Why would the Lord send me here just to hear His word? Why doesn’t He tell me what He has to say at the top? Do I really need to go down there…! Down into all that mess and dust, I could even catch a flu…you know. Anyway, how does He expect me to hear Him with all the noise and activity going on there…all the distractions? Sometimes I wonder, I wonder about Him, does He know what He is doing. (Doesn’t He!?) I could easily have gone to the Potter’s showroom and have a field day revelling in the beauty of each vessel and then the word would come loud and clear…don’t you think so?
But the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and said,
“Arise and go down to the potter’s house….” – Jeremiah 18:2a
Whenever someone is asked to “arise” that means the person was down, probably in a seated position or had not yet attained the height that he was meant to. It also means, “To come up for notice or into consideration”
Imagine being called up to a place of prominence after being in notoriety for too long…the glee on your face, the excitement in your heart, the flutter in your steps and with expectation of the crowning, you approach the podium and only to be told when you had arisen to “go down”.
Oh, the drop in the thermometer will stand out, your flag that was flying high will hit rock bottom and your balloon that was filled with pride (in a positive way) deflated…. Oh! The look of disappointment on your face, the drop in the pulsating of your heart, the strut in your steps reduces as you walk in no hurry anymore and all the excitements have developed wings and gone with the wind. You are reduced not to your size but lesser.
How do you tell people that the command to “arise and show” off was misunderstood and the glory that came with arising, momentary? How will they view you? As one who is not sure of what he heard and yet claimed God spoke! Of course, it is only natural to arise and climb, arise and stand. But “arise and go down?!” How worse can it get. Now you understand how Jerry felt.
In the midst of all the persecutions his people had put him through just because he was chosen from birth to deliver God’s message – (Jeremiah 1:5-19). A job description was written out for him, before he even had a chance to weigh the options and chose the best among the rest. A position he didn’t contest for was “pushed” on him by an Authority above all authorities. For once, Jerry had an opportunity to show them pepper…yes! And it felt good! Only to be told, SORRY, commanded to “go down”.
How many times has He deflated your “This is our chance” balloon and raised His “Thy will be done” flag on your behalf? I’m sure you can empathize with Jerry easily. Well, if God says left is the way, then ‘left’ we must go…I’m sure it’s not all that bad after all…
“His thoughts for me are thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give me an expected end” – Jeremiah 29:11.
Hold it a bit honey, notice that the commandment to “Arise and go down” is in Chapter 18 and “His thoughts of good” are in Chapter 29, so how do you survive the taunts of Chapter 19-29:10 (10 WHOLE CHAPTERS!!!) hmmm! You must really be anointed! YES, YOU ARE! Since Chapter 1 already gave you a glimpse of the trouble and the glory …so if Chapter 29 is far off, baby hold on to Chapter 1.
© 2004. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved