Jer. 13:1-14; 18:1-17
Many of the biblical writings are in parables and symbols. Symbolically, God had wrapped Israel and Judah around His waist as one would use a sash or loincloth. They had refused to hear and obey Him, but had turned to false idol gods. To demonstrate the deteriorated condition of His people, God instructed Jeremiah to place a sash in a rock near the Euphrates River for a period of time. Upon returning after many days, Jeremiah saw that the sash had rotted and was good for nothing—so shall be the pride of Judah and Jerusalem as they would be cast out of their land. Another symbol that He used was filled wine bottles. As people are destroyed by drunkenness, in like manner, the inhabitants of Jerusalem would suffer the same fate.
Since pottery vessels were widely used, there are many references in the Scriptures to potters and their wares. Sometimes during the turning of a new piece of pottery on the potter’s wheel, a hard lump of clay would cause a malformed vessel. With the hard clay removed and as long as the remaining clay was pliable, it could be reformed into a more usable product. God’s power to shape lives is limited only by the pliability or willingness of one to accept in repentance His “molding on the potter’s wheel.” He is the Potter; we are the clay. The “clay of Judah” had become too hard to mold; therefore, they had been rejected as a useless piece of pottery. It is up to us as individuals and as nations to be willing to yield to the hands of God.