Broken Jars, Broken Lives

by Zeke Flores

Jeremiah had been to the potter’s house. In Jeremiah 18, he saw the craftsmanship the potter exercised in creating and then reshaping his work. I’m sure he saw the pleasure in the artisan’s face as the vessel took the shape he intended.

In chapter 19, the persecuted prophet is told to buy a new pot. I sometimes wonder if the pot he purchased was the one he’d seen the potter make before. God tells Jeremiah to take the pot, now hardened and ready for use, and shatter it in the presence of the people whose attention He’d been trying to get. To be sure, it was a vivid object lesson, and by the events in the next chapter, it wasn’t too well received.

The broken pieces of the pot seem to represent the people's brokenness as they continually defied God’s intended purpose. So, He got their attention with a broken pot.

Sometimes, you’ve got to break some jars to get people’s attention. Everywhere we look, we see broken and shattered lives. People live in constant rebellion against God because, for most, it’s all they know. You've got to get their attention to help people understand the radical life adjustment they must make. Sometimes, it comes from a major traumatic life event; other times, it’s the simple yet sudden realization that there must be a better way. Whatever you have to do to get someone’s attention, do it. You may have to “break some jars,” but isn’t their eternal soul worth the disruption?

"Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you and say to them, 'Thus says Yahweh of hosts, "Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which cannot again be repaired"'" (Jeremiah 19:10-11).

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