8.7 Jeremiah 16-20

Joel Nagel


Jeremiah 16-20

These chapters in Jeremiah continue to make the point that God is going to punish Judah and Jerusalem for abandoning him and going after false gods. Jeremiah is the messenger of the bad news. He is told that he must speak against his own people and that they are past the point where prayer will help. The destruction and the lessons learned are still for the good of the people. The destruction will be devastating but not complete – God has a plan to redeem his wayward people in the future!

Key Verse:

Jeremiah 18:6 (HCSB) “‘House of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?’ – This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.'”

Vision of God

This is a great reminder of just how in control God is. He’s totally in control. He can do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes. The fact that we’re not being totally crushed all the time reveals that he is a good and loving God. Even when we are crushed it is for our good and for his glory.

Vision of Self and Others

When I look at all of the things happening in our world in the light of this scripture, I marvel at what God could be doing. He’s working for all 7.5 billion souls so they could find him. The big issues we’re dealing with can seem overwhelming but God is focused on people’s hearts and I should too.

Go With God

I want to look at the ways God is molding hearts through all of this and join in his saving work. If I can keep from being overwhelmed or overburdened and stay outward focused on individuals who are searching for God then this can be a great time of impact.


In the next chapter, Jeremiah shows us what happens to clay when it gets hard. It can no longer be molded so it is thrown into the valley of Ben Hinnom which was the trash dump outside of Jerusalem. The Greek word for hell, Gehenna, comes from Ben Hinnom. It was a place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. Jesus allowed himself to be crushed, to go through hell (literally) so that we could be saved. This was the ultimate plan for God’s people even as the people of Jeremiah’s day experienced his wrath.

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