Jeremiah‘s trip to the potter’s house (Jeremiah 18:1-12) showed him the work and plan of God.
First, God showed the prophet the sovereignty and power of God. As Jeremiah watched the potter at work, he received God‘s message showing that God is at work in nations and in the lives of individuals.
As the potter had the power to re-work the clay, so God does the same with His people. He asked Jeremiah and the people, “Can I not do the same with you, oh Israel?”
Second, God showed Jeremiah the importance of repentance. Repentance is essential in our relationship with God. We have to turn from our wickedness and turn toward God. That is what repentance means.
God showed Jeremiah that it works both ways. When a people over whom God has spoken a word of judgment turn from their evil ways, God rejoices to forgive.
But when a nation over which God has shown favor lives in wickedness and unrighteousness, God can reconsider that work of blessing and favor.
The message was clear to the people of Israel. God expects repentance and obedience from his people.
Third, God warns and provides for His people. He is not arbitrary or uncaring. God sent Jeremiah to warn the people about their actions and behavior. He wanted them to repent and turn from their evil ways.
My mentor in Old Testament studies always pointed out that God’s first impulse is to forgive and restore, but He does not do that without repentance and obedience.
God expects nothing less from us.