Jeremiah 18: God vs. Nationalism

American Christians, when was the last time you read Jeremiah – I mean seriously read Jeremiah?  I ask this question because so many of us think that God made something special here in America, and therefore God won’t abandon us.  Some of us even think that what God made here is so special that it is worthy of us expending our blood to defend it.  But what does God say in this matter?  If you’ll turn to Jeremiah 18, you will see that God thinks our defense of “liberty” and/or the “Constitution” is futile. Picking up arms, going to the polls, and/or legislating in the name of “God”, “country” or “morality” keeps our “troops” on the wrong battlefield.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pacifist and I’m no slouch.  I’m not talking about Christians employed in military service (military service is clearly biblical: 2 Timothy 2:3).  Nor am I talking about Christians standing up for truth and/or righteousness (people need to hear the truth: 1 Timothy 2:4).  What I am talking about is putting the values of American patriotism (or nationalism) ahead of the Bible.  Our primary mission isn’t to stand up for Uncle Sam, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc.  It is to stand up for our biblical foundation and preach the Gospel:  Mark 16:15  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  According to Jeremiah, God only wants one thing from this country:  to turn from evil (repent) as a nation.

Let us analyze American Patriotism in light of Jeremiah 18:2-10.  These verses will make it abundantly clear that as American Christians, we need to concentrate on fighting a spiritual war above all other battles.  As Ephesians 6:11-12 tells us: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  We do not need to get sidetracked fighting symptoms of apostasy such as homosexuals in the military, liberal activist judges or politicians undermining Natural Law.  Instead, we need to focus on the cancer that is destroying this nation from the inside out:  unbelief.

Jeremiah 18:2  Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

Why should we be analyzing the Old Testament, let alone Jeremiah?  Paul tells us that the Old Testament is written for our admonition in the end times: 1 Corinthians 10:11  “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”  Like Jeremiah, we are to hear God’s words if we are to understand what we are to do in these perilous times.

Jeremiah 18:3  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

Jeremiah 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

            As usual, God is trying to teach us something.  He is giving us a visual picture to precede his spiritual lesson.  Here we have a potter working a vessel of clay on his potter’s wheel.  The vessel of clay becomes marred, and instead of attempting to repair it, he just makes another vessel out of the same lump of clay.  This concept of God as the potter and man as the clay is one that is repeated throughout scripture.  See also Isaiah 29:16, Isaiah 64:8, and Romans 9:21

Jeremiah 18:5  Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Jeremiah 18:6  O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Jeremiah 18:7  At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

God then proceeds to lay into Israel over their wickedness and tells Jeremiah that he can pluck up, pull down, and otherwise destroy any nation in an instant.  Just like the potter working a piece of clay, God can destroy and rework a nation at will.  Now, re-read 1 Corinthians 10:11 (above).  Here, some may ask:  “This is the Church Age, isn’t God just speaking about Israel?”  What does 1 Corinthians 10:11 say?  It says this picture of the potter is both for our example and for our admonition.

Jeremiah 18:8  If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

As usual, God works multiple lessons into every example.  God explains in verse 8 that there is hope for a nation that turns from its evil.  Not only is there hope for a wayward nation, but in a direct refutation of Calvinism’s “eternal decrees”, God explains that he will repent of his planned destruction if a nation repents of its evil.  This is not a one-off concept; it is re-iterated in Jonah 3:9-10, Genesis 18:32, and Matthew 11:21-23.

Jeremiah 18:9  And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

To the American patriot’s credit, they are correct to believe that God had a hand in this country’s beginning.  Verse 9 tells us that God builds and plants nations in an instant.  This is what happened to the United States.  Popery had Europe in a stranglehold and through the Jesuits was attempting to usher in another “Dark Age.”  When all hope seemed lost, God fulfilled the prophecy of Genesis 9:27 and opened up a land of freedom in the midst of Shem’s tents.  This verse also best explains why King George III inconceivably divorced America with the Prohibitory Act on 22 December 1775 and how the seemingly invincible British army lost a war to a rag-tag band of farmers (see The Revolution Myth by Gene Fisher and Glen Chambers).

Jeremiah 18:10  If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

Now, here is where it gets scary for modern Americans.  Verse 10 builds on verse 9 and tells us that God benefits, and does good for, those countries that He builds and plants.  This concept is quite clear in history when one examines the United States.  We were instantly propelled onto the world stage with almost limitless opportunity, resources, and talent.  Then our sin natures got the better of us and we succumbed to one of the most famous verses in the Bible,  Proverbs 16:18:  “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

So where does this leave us as modern day Americans?  The answer should be obvious.  Our country needs to repent of its evil and spiritual rebellion towards its Creator.  As Christians, we need to go out to the highways and the hedges and witness to the lost (Matthew 22:9, Luke 14:23).  We must stay focused on the harvest of Luke 10:2  “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

We cannot allow ourselves to be sidetracked by man’s logic and/or “good causes.”  2 Timothy 2:4  “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”  Running to the hills will accomplish nothing.  Storing up food, money, and/or ammunition will not save us (see how fast Belshazzar lost everything in Daniel 5).  Gaining political office and/or voting our way out is doomed to failure (see the dismal track records of the “Christian Coalition” and the “Moral Majority” since Christians have tried to vote this country back onto the narrow path; Matthew 7:13-14).  Even protesting abortion, while a good thing, will do nothing to change the heart conditions of the heathen who voluntarily murder their own children in the name of Baal (Jeremiah 7:9).

Have I deflated your patriotic balloon enough yet?  Don’t give up entirely, just redirect your energies.  Ephesians tells us that our enemies are not liberals, homosexuals, or even the New World Order.  Our enemy is the Devil himself.  We don’t even need to worry about the 2nd Amendment as guns aren’t going to win this battle.  Crack open that dusty old King James hiding on your bookshelf and don your battle gear:  Ephesians 6:12-13  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

  • Ron Shouldis

    Exactly . Good article.