The point of no return

Jeremiah 19 teaches that there is a point of no return for the church. In Jer 18 Judah was soft clay in the Potter’s hand which could be re-formed, but by Jer 19 Judah is compared to a hardened earthen vessel which is beyond the point of re-formation. The Lord breaks it Jer 19:10 because it is not fit for purpose.

The Hebrew word for bottle Jer 19:10 comes from a root word meaning ‘to pour out, to empty’ and is used figuratively of depopulating or emptying a land Isa 24:1,3; Jer 51:2. So, in breaking this bottle, Jeremiah was signifying not only that the Lord would depopulate the land and spill its contents upon the ground, but also that Jerusalem’s ecclesiastical structure would be broken in order to rid it of its idolatrous practices now embedded in its constitution.

Application
When the time of judgment comes, the time for reformation has passed, and there is no going back. No doubt the idolaters who altered the worship of Judah Jer 19:4-5 thought that they were progressive reformers. They were simply hardening the clay of a vessel which the Lord would no longer use and would therefore break.

The Lord would begin again, after the captivity, with a valley of dry bones, bringing the bones together, putting on flesh and breathing new life into His church to form it into an exceedingly great army Ezk 37:1-10.

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