Jeremiah 19:1-15 (JDV)
Jeremiah 19:1 This is what Yahveh says: “Go, buy a potter’s flask. Take some of the elders of the people and some of the elder priests
Jeremiah 19:2 and go out to Ben Hinnom Valley near the opening of the clay pit gate. Proclaim there the words I speak to you.
Jeremiah 19:3 Say, ‘Hear the word of Yahveh, kings of Judah and those staying in Jerusalem. This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on this place that everyone who hears about it will quiver
Jeremiah 19:4 because they have abandoned me and made this a foreign place. They have burned incense in it to other gods that they, their fathers, and the kings of Judah have never known. They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.
Jeremiah 19:5 They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, something I have never commanded or mentioned; I never entertained the thought.
Jeremiah 19:6 ” ‘Therefore, notice, the days are coming – this is what Yahveh declares – when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but Killing Valley.
Jeremiah 19:7 I will spoil the plans of Judah and Jerusalem in this place. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, by the hand of those who intend to take their life. I will provide their corpses as food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land.
Jeremiah 19:8 I will make this city desolate, an object of scorn. Everyone who passes by it will be appalled and whistle because of all its wounds.
Jeremiah 19:9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and they will eat each other’s flesh in the distressing siege inflicted on them by their enemies who intend to take their life.’
Jeremiah 19:10 “Then you are to shatter the flask in the presence of the people going with you,
Jeremiah 19:11 and you are to proclaim to them, ‘This is what Yahveh of Armies says: I will shatter these people and this city, like one shatters a potter’s flask that can never again be mended. They will bury the dead in Topheth because there is no other place for burials.
Jeremiah 19:12 That is what I will do to this place – this is what Yahveh declares – and to its residents, making this city like Topheth.
Jeremiah 19:13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will become impure like that place Topheth – all the houses on whose rooftops they have burned incense to all the stars in the sky and poured out drink offerings to other gods.'”
Jeremiah 19:14 Jeremiah returned from Topheth, where Yahveh had sent him to prophesy, stood in the courtyard of Yahveh’s temple, and proclaimed to all the people,
Jeremiah 19:15 “This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to bring on this city – and on all its cities – every disaster that I spoke against it, because they have become obstinate, not obeying my words.'”
The image of the shattered potter’s flask represented the permanence of the destruction that the Lord would execute at Jerusalem. It symbolized every disaster that would take place in the city, in fulfillment of the Lord’s pledge. Jerusalem was supposed to be the city on the hill, displaying God’s righteousness. That is why their rebellion was so repulsive, and their penalty was so harsh.
Jeremiah had just been at the potter’s workshop, and had used that event to plead with his people to come back to God in repentance, so that he could remake them, like a potter does to a marred jar. Now he shatters the flask as if to say that there will be no restoration.
What was the sin the city committed? They abandoned the Lord, and turned the city into a foreign place, burning incense to other gods there.
The church of Jesus Christ needs to take this to heart. In this generation, we need to pay more attention to the covenant we have made with Christ, and the commission he has called us to fulfill. We are supposed to be the city on the hill – standing out as different in a world of sameness.
Lord, give us the wisdom to purge our city of its foreign ways, and show the world your pure gospel.
Books by Jefferson Vann