The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,…
I. MIND ORIGINATES POWER. The work is a work on the wheels; but the power begins with the workman; it is spirit that presides, it is will that controls; an intelligent being makes use of the power he has set in motion to fashion his design. The perfect type is in the mind of the workman, and he must give it form and shape, and impress it on matter. All power originates with God, and is under His control.
II. DIVINE PATIENCE IS ASSOCIATED WITH DIVINE POWER. You do not see in the potter at work what God can do if it pleases Him, but what it pleases Him to do; not what He may do with the clay, but what His purpose is. We are taught the intention of the Divine worker to mould men and nations according to a Divine pattern, that there is nothing arbitrary in His procedure; that every act is regulated by a reference to His plan, and that Divine patience is constantly and perseveringly at work.
III. DIVINE PATIENCE PERSEVERES IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ITS DESIGN. How often have you been marred through want of submission to a perfect and loving will, manifested in God's providential dealings with you or in His Gospel? The clay may be broken so often that it loses all its adhesive properties, and when placed on the wheels may splinter into fragments and become utterly worthless.Conclusion —
1. There is a fixed and settled plan, an original idea in the Divine mind, according to which His work is to be conformed. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning." Man is God's work. God found in Himself the pattern of this wondrous creation. He made man in His own image, in His own likeness. Man was a failure; the world therefore was a failure, and the flood was brought in, and the work destroyed. There was to be a new manifestation of humanity. Men were to be distributed into families and tribes, into nations and kingdoms. We are "predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son." We are to be "like Him": our bodies are "to be fashioned like unto His glorious body." There is a perfect type of society. There is to be the universal diffusion of truth and righteousness. There is a perfect type of a Church.
2. God does not make anything for the sole purpose of destroying it. See the interest God takes in what is going on in the world, and the effect it has on Him.
3. That there is no waste in life. There is no waste in nature. There was in Christ's miracles no waste of power. There is no waste in human life. That part of it which is introductory to the rest, which we call childhood, is not waste; it has its relations to the rest of life. That portion which is tried and tested, which is subjected to many experiments, is not waste. The sorrows and tears of life are not the waste of life — toil, strife, agony, are not lost. All these things that seem to fall from life, are worked up again into new forms. Life may be a marred and broken thing, but God can work it up into a form of Divine beauty.
4. Life is a "work on the wheels." Character is in the course of formation: it will come out either marred or perfected, just as you submit to the Divine will, or resist the influences brought to bear upon you.
(H. J. Boris.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,