"A Vessel ... Meet For The Master's Use" (continued)
We read a verse in 2 Chronicles 4 which referred to the potter's field, in which there was the potter's house. The potters lived there, in that field and in that house, for one thing only - to make pottery for the king. The kings - David and Solomon - evidently kept a large band of potters, and the many vessels used in the king's house which were of clay were made in that field. It was to that field and to that house that the Lord sent Jeremiah. David and Solomon had gone long ago, but the potter was still busy in his house in the same field. There were evidently very many potters in the days of David and Solomon, but when we come to Jeremiah it seems that there was only one potter at work.
That potter's field had a very tragic history. Our passage in the Gospel of Matthew tells us a very sad story. The potter's field was still there, but the potter's house and the potters were gone. Judas betrayed his Master for thirty pieces of silver, and when he discovered what he had done, he went back and threw the silver at the feet of the rulers, who said: "This is the price of blood. We cannot give it any place in the sanctuary." Then they had a meeting to consider what they should do with the money ..."and they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field." That same potter's field, which had come right down through history and had had a glorious day, was now bought with the price of the Blood of Jesus Christ. That had been prophesied by the Prophet Zechariah. The price of a servant, of a bond-slave, was thirty pieces of silver, and that was the price that they put upon the Son of God. What a tragic end to the potter's field.
When we come to the prophecies of Isaiah there are quite a number of references to the potter and the clay, and we read the final one. Israel is saying: "Thou art the Potter and we are the clay." I expect you know what is the message of the prophecies of Isaiah - the message of Divine sovereignty over Israel and the nations. Those prophecies began with the great vision in chapter six, when Isaiah said: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up." Uzziah was one of the great kings of Israel after David and Solomon, and when this greatness was dead the prophet saw another greatness - "the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up." When all earthly government fails, the government remains in the hands of the Lord. When the sovereignties of this world die, there is sovereignty that never dies. The Lord still remains sovereign over all things.
When you go on to Jeremiah that sovereignty is concentrated upon this chosen people, Israel. Here it is a matter of God's rights in this particular people ... "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?" The Lord has absolute right to do as He wills with His own people. When the Lord says: 'I have chosen you,' that is not only His initiative, but His absolute authority. When the Lord chooses a vessel, that choice carries with it His absolute authority. That sovereign authority will work for the vessel, or will work against it. It depends upon whether the clay will yield to the sovereignty of the Potter. If we yield to the mind of God, His sovereignty will work for us, but if we resist, that sovereignty will break us. We cannot get away from the sovereignty of God. That can be a very wonderful and blessed thing, but it can also be a very terrible thing.
(continued with # 3)