Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 30, 2017

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 18:1-17.

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.”  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.  But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter;  so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord.  “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.  At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it;  if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.  Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it;  10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.  11 So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you.  Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”’  12 But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

13 “Therefore thus says the Lord,
‘Ask now among the nations,
Who ever heard the like of this?
The virgin of Israel
Has done a most appalling thing.
14 ‘Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country?
Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away?
15 ‘For My people have forgotten Me,
They burn incense to worthless gods
And they have stumbled from their ways,
From the ancient paths,
To walk in bypaths,
Not on a highway,
16 To make their land a desolation,
An object of perpetual hissing;
Everyone who passes by it will be astonished
And shake his head.
17 ‘Like an east wind I will scatter them
Before the enemy;
I will show them My back and not My face
In the day of their calamity.’”  Jeremiah 18:1-17.

———————————-

God is good and calls people to repentance and reform.  “…  Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”  Verse 11.

But, because of “Total Depravity”, the natural condition of man, they will not repent nor reform.  “But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless!  For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’”  Verse 12.

The hope is not based on man’s alleged free-will.

The hope is based on God’s sovereign power (as The Potter) to save whom He chooses.

15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”  20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?  22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.  25 As He says also in Hosea,

“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;  28 for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”  Romans 9:15-27.

For many are called, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:14.

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