“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Nation Planted or Plucked Up

Image from Microsoft Office.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’—Jeremiah 18:1-11, ESV
I find it interesting that God declares this statement concerning “nations.” This is something true for any nation, not just Israel. I find that it is also interesting that God considers the nation as a whole. While God does deal with people individually, he does not judge or bless a nation based on the wickedness or righteousness of a few. He seems to consider the majority of the people. This makes sense of course, since the blessings of the righteous often affect the unrighteous, and the sins of the unrighteous often affect the righteous. This is why, the righteous have the great responsibility to influence their nation.