In the previous chapter God sent the prophet Jeremiah to observe a potter working at his wheel. In Chapter 19, Jeremiah was a more active player in a second living illustration. The Lord’s servant broke an “earthenware flask” in order to make a vivid point.
Jeremiah addressed the highest leaders of the nation, though it was their deputies who were actually present. God would soon bring disaster upon Jerusalem and Judah. The Lord would not ignore the significance of their disobedience.
Judah had filled the land with the blood of innocents. God’s people had agreed to the murder of their own children as they participated in pagan religious rituals. Now the Lord announced that many in Jerusalem would be killed by their enemies, and that their corpses would be eaten by the birds of the air. In the siege leading up to the destruction of the city, some would even choose to eat the flesh of their own offspring in their starvation.
This was quite a speech to give to a group of dignitaries, but imagine this extra detail. The hand of the prophet was suddenly raised and a piece of pottery was smashed to the ground at the feet of the assembled guests. God had made up His mind, and He would break this city.
Jeremiah then traveled to the temple and announced again God’s judgment in the court of the temple. Why would Jerusalem be destroyed? The people had stiffened their necks against their Creator. They refused to hear His Word.
Despite this devastating proclamation by the Lord’s prophet, the Almighty had made many promises of salvation that would be fulfilled at just the right time. He would send the perfect vessel, the promised Son of David, filled with the Holy Spirit beyond measure. (John 3:34) Jesus would allow His own body to be pierced for us.
Now we who have the same Spirit that enlivened Jesus’ mortal body remember that the Lord of Glory was crushed for our iniquities. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. The purpose of His grace will be fully accomplished. Not one of His promises shall ever fail.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, the end of the wicked is a shocking reality that requires our serious consideration. This is what we deserved because of our sin, and this is what Your Son has suffered for us through His death on the cross. Father, among the people of this world over the course of centuries we have learned of times of devastating destruction. In the pages of Your Word we have read about the things that took place in Israel and Judah, times of suffering and exile that were severely troubling. Thank You for rescuing us from the greatest calamity. Grant to us ears to hear Your Word faithfully today, that we might worship You in Spirit and in truth.