Jeremiah and the Potter

A Spoiled Clay, A Beautiful Vase, and A Disastrous Message Jeremiah and Uri walked down the dusty road towards the potters’ part of town. Well, Jeremiah walked.  Uri skipped, ran ahead, ran back, then danced around again.  They headed out the Potsherd Gate and made their way past the piles of broken pottery.  The sky became darkened with the thick black smoke of the burning kilns ahead. Uri’s youthful face and brown eyes sparkled with excitement.  “Why do you think God is sending you to Aram’s shop?  The master potter!  I love to look at his beautiful vases and pots.  Once my mom ordered a special vase from him.  He told her there were many orders ahead of her.  My mom kept having me run to his shop to see if it was ready.” Uri talked...

Experiencing God’s Story

  In Jeremiah 18, God spoke to Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house and there He would “announce My words to you.”  He could have just told Jeremiah what He wanted to tell him.  He could have said, “I’m going to break Judah and Jerusalem to pieces.  They are going down.”   But no, that’s not what He did.   He used an illustration for Jeremiah, and thus for the people of Jerusalem and Judah.  And He didn’t just tell him the illustration here—He showed him the illustration.  God wanted this to reach into Jeremiah’s heart.  Why?  Because He knew that it would make Jeremiah’s message so much more powerful.  Jeremiah would be able to speak from his heart.  God wanted him to experience His...

Why Does God Use Stories? Part Two

  Last time we saw how much of the Bible is narrative, and I talked about God using stories to capture our interest and our hearts. So… we read the stories of the Bible and we see these superman-type people who do awesome things for God, and we get inspired to be just like them, right? If you think this, then maybe you ought to read about Gideon. Yes, he did do some amazing things for God, but when the angel first came to him in Judges 6:11-12, where was Gideon? Hiding in a winepress.  Afraid of the Midianites.  And the angel called him “valiant warrior.” Really?  Are you kidding? What kind of valiant warrior was he?  Why would I want to read about a loser who is hiding in a winepress from the enemy out there.  How can that encourage me? But...

Why Does God Use Stories? Part One

  I have had people come up to me and say, “We never read fiction, only the Bible.”  I’ve thought about that.  Now I know that everyone has their own opinion about what they should read and what they shouldn’t read. And I am all about reading in the Bible. If I am going to grow in my walk with the Lord, I have to be  in His word daily!!!  And if I am too busy to be reading in the Bible, should I be reading a fiction instead? I don’t think so, although I have fallen into this trap many times. But should I make the decision that I should only read the Bible and never any fiction or stories at all? Let’s examine the Bible and how God teaches throughout the Bible. 40 % of the Old Testament is narrative.  They are true stories that are told in a...