Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

Dr. John Hartmann header image 2
Cialis online

The Shattered Water Jar – a Prophetic Look at the Nation of Judah in Jeremiah 19

September 26th, 2010 · No Comments

The Parable of the Potter and the Wheel in Jeremiah 18 lays out the great principles by which God governs nations. If a nation marked for judgment turns from its wickedness God will relent concerning the calamity He had purposed to bring upon it. The reverse is true as well. If a nation marked for divine blessing turns from righteousness to the practice of evil God will think better of the blessing He purposed for that people.

In The Shattered Water Jar: a Prophetic Look at the Nation of Judah in Jeremiah 19¬†we come to a new stage in the story of Judah, as the prophet is about to act out the last stage of the nation’s spiritual hardening. There comes a time in a nation’s history in which constant hardening and opposition to God (in essence, refusal to listen to His Word) must result in that nation experiencing the severe judgment of God, resulting in it being shattered to pieces or even overthrown. Thus whereas Jeremiah 18 teaches the possibility of Divine Mercy for a nation that repents, Jeremiah 19 teaches the terrible truth that Divine Judgment can and will at some point come upon a nation that refuses to listen to God’s call for repentance and hardens itself against Him, for it is indeed “a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31).

The Lord thus instructs the prophet to go once again to the Potter’s House. In Jeremiah 18 he was sent there to see soft clay that had been spoiled being remade on the wheel, thus underlining the possibility of an evil nation marked for judgment being “remade” if it will but turn back to God. This time he is sent to purchase a clay jar that had already been fashioned and hardened, and which cannot be remade into another vessel. There thus is a significant difference between the parable of Jeremiah 18 and the prophetic act about to be carried out in Jeremiah 19. In Jeremiah 18 the clay, though spoiled on the wheel, is still soft and able to be remade by the Potter. In Jeremiah 19 the clay has already been permanently fashioned and hardened, so that whatever it has become cannot be remade. If acceptable, it becomes a useful vessel for containing and dispensing water. If unacceptable, it remains only to be broken in pieces and sent to the place where shattered pottery is thrown away.

The sins of Judah that brought such judgment are plainly spelled out throughout Jeremiah (and the other prophets). In this case idolatry and shedding of innocent blood are specifically said to be the sins that brought God’s severe judgment on this apostate nation.

Jeremiah takes some of the elders and senior priests with him to witness the prophetic act he is commanded to carry out at the gate to the field where broken pottery was scrapped. He there breaks the clay water flask he had purchased and announces that God would in like fashion shatter the nation of Judah as a worthless vessel that is shattered and placed on the scrap pile.

This message is relevant for our times. Do we stand in the place of Jeremiah 18, where there is still the possibility of Divine Mercy if we repent? Or have we come to the place of hardening pictured in Jeremiah 19? If the latter then all that remains is to be shattered under the hand of God’s judgment. We must seek the Lord at this hour with a sober and whole heart, in accordance with the call of Joel 2:12-17. Who knows?

Tags: Sermons

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.