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Strange Texts but Grand Truths (14 of 17)
Clarence E. Macartney
In the gaunt Valley of Hinnom, to the southeast of
Jerusalem, a group of men are gathered together. One
of them is speaking in tones of great earnestness,
severity, and sadness. When he finishes his speech, he
lifts his arm and, brandishing in the sunlight a
finished potter's vessel, brings it crashing down on
the rocks, where it is broken into fragments.
The speaker and actor is the prophet Jeremiah, who is
prophesying at Jerusalem toward the sunset of the
Hebrew monarchy, when the vultures of judgment and
retribution are beginning to wheel over the doomed
city. As to much of God's plan and purpose for it, the
nation of Israel, through its obduracy and perversity
and apostasy, had failed and come short. But even yet,
through repentance and reformation, there could be a
worth-while destiny. Even yet the vultures of
retribution and judgment could be driven off.
To illustrate this truth Jeremiah is commanded to go
down to the potter's house, still one of the most
interesting places in the East. Of many of the great
cities and civilizations of the past all that remains
today is relics of the potter's craft. There is the
potter seated on the ground, with the mass of clay
near him, a vessel of water by his side, and in front
of him the potter's wheel. When he has moistened and
softened the clay, he puts it upon the horizontal
wheel, and then, with the wheel revolving, with deft
touch he begins to shape the vessel. When the vessel
is near completion, he discovers that there isa
serious flaw or dislocation in it. But because the
clay is still soft and pliable, the potter is able to
break down the vessel again and place the clay once
more on the wheel, where he forms a new vessel,
perhaps not just the same as the vessel that he had in
mind when he started, but nevertheless something
useful or orname ...
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