The Lesson from the Potter Working the Clay
18 1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying , 2 "Arise and go down to the potter's house , and there I will announce My words to you." 3 Then I went down to the potter's house , and there he was, making something on the wheel . 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter ; so he remade it into another vessel , as it pleased e the potter to make . 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying , 6 "Can I not, O house of Israel , deal with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord . "Behold , like the clay in the potter's hand , so are you in My hand , O house of Israel . 7 "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot , to pull down , or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil , I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 "Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice , then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
11 "So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying , 'Thus says the Lord , "Behold , I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back , each of you from his evil way , and reform your ways and your deeds ."' 12 "But they will say , 'It's hopeless ! For we are going to follow e our own plans , and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart .' 13 "Therefore thus says the Lord , ' Ask now among the nations , Who ever heard the like of this ? The virgin of Israel Has done a most appalling thing . 14 'Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country ? Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away ? 15 'For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways , From the ancient paths , To walk in bypaths , Not on a highway e , 16 To make their land a desolation , An object of perpetual hissing ; Everyone who passes by it will be astonished And shake his head . 17 'Like an east wind I will scatter them Before the enemy ; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their calamity .' "
The People's Plots and Jeremiah's Prayer
18 Then they said , "Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah . Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest , nor counsel to the sage , nor the divine word to the prophet ! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue , and let us give no heed to any of his words ." 19 Do give heed to me, O Lord , And listen to what my opponents are saying ! 20 Should good be repaid with evil ? For they have dug a pit for me. Remember how I stood before You To speak good on their behalf , So as to turn away Your wrath from them. 21 Therefore , give their children over to famine And deliver them up to the power of the sword ; And let their wives become childless and widowed . Let their men also be smitten to death , Their young men struck down by the sword in battle . 22 May an outcry be heard from their houses , When You suddenly bring raiders upon them; For they have dug a pit to capture me And hidden snares for my feet . 23 Yet You, O Lord , know All their deadly designs against me; Do not forgive their iniquity Or blot out their sin from Your sight . But may they be overthrown before You; Deal with them in the time of Your anger !