God told Jeremiah,
"Up on your feet! Go to the potter's house. When you get there, I'll tell you what I have to say."
So I went to the potter's house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel.
Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.
Then God's Message came to me:
"Can't I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?" God's Decree! "Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel.
At any moment I may decide to pull up a people or a country by the roots and get rid of them.
But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them.
At another time I might decide to plant a people or country,
but if they don't cooperate and won't listen to me, I will think again and give up on the plans I had for them.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)