North Carolina Potter photo by gurdonark on Flickr.
By Lisa Nordell-Detres
I love object lessons because they can be very powerful teaching tools. God knew this when He told Jeremiah to “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” (Jeremiah 18:2, NIV) The art of pottery seems to have changed very little in the past three thousand years, because Jeremiah went to the potter’s house and found him making something at the wheel.
Just as the art of pottery has not changed, God’s message to the nations has not changed, either. This is what God had to say in Jeremiah’s day:
“Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” (Jeremiah 18:6-10, NIV)
This passage makes it clear that God considers the actions of the people in deciding the fate of nations. It is entirely up to God to decide which nations will rise up and which will be torn down, but the hearts, lives and faith of the inhabitants play an important role in the success or downfall of every nation. God does not just randomly build kingdoms and then destroy them like a child playing with Legos; He blesses those nations whose citizens obey Him and are faithful to His Word. Likewise, God gives plenty of warning to nations that reject Him long before the destruction comes.
What about our country? Is God blessing us because of our faithful obedience or are we being warned to repent before destruction comes? Whatever your opinion about the current state of affairs; the one thing that doesn’t change is that God wants to have a personal relationship with us, His most precious creations. The fate of each nation in our world depends on our faithfulness and obedience to His perfect will. If we really want to save the world, then we need to live the lives that God asks us to live; today and every day!
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.