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God’s Word for You

Jeremiah 18:11,12

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, January 12, 2015

11 Now therefore say to the men of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem: This is what the LORD says. Look! I am forming a disaster against you. I am devising a plan against you. Turn from you evil ways, each of you, and reform your ways and your actions. 12 But they will say, “It is hopeless! Each of us will always walk in the stubbornness of his own evil heart.”

As Jeremiah watched the potter at work, the Lord’s message continued. The prophet could see what God meant as the words were spoken to him. While a pot was formed, the potter depended on two things. The first was the skill of his hands, the kind of skill that comes from experience. Today we call this muscle memory. But there was also a plan in the potter’s mind, an idea that was behind what was being formed.

The Lord told the prophet: My hands are at work, and my mind, too. I am forming a disaster, and I have a plan in mind. Of course, there is always the possibility of repentance. Going back a few generations, the Lord could have pointed out to Judah that one of their worst and most wicked kings, Manasseh, had repented and turned back to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 33:11,12). When Manasseh turned his heart back to God in his despair, “the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea” (2 Chronicles 33:13). If there was hope for wicked Manasseh, surely there could be hope for wicked Judah!

But the Lord knew what the people were going to say: “It’s hopeless! We’re too stubborn!” So the disaster would come. It wasn’t God’s fault, but he knew it was going to take place.

God’s foreknowledge of our sins is not the cause of our sins. We cannot say that because God is almighty and because God is omniscient that he is responsible for the evil in the world and in our lives. God’s foreknowledge is no more responsible for our sin than is the young mother guilty of making her baby fall the first few dozen times that baby tries to walk. She knows the baby will fall. God knows that we will fall. God asks us to trust in him and to turn to him for help. He holds out his hands in love and forgiveness.

We the children need to turn back, and take what our heavenly Father offers so freely.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.