16You have everything backward! Should the potter be thought of as clay? Should what is made say of its maker, "He didn't make me"? Should what is shaped say of the one who shaped it, "He doesn't understand"?
1Jeremiah received the LORD's word:2Go down to the potter's house, and I'll give you instructions about what to do there.3So I went down to the potter's house; he was working on the potter's wheel.4But the piece he was making was flawed while still in his hands, so the potter started on another, as seemed best to him.5Then the LORD's word came to me:6House of Israel, can't I deal with you like this potter, declares the LORD? Like clay in the potter's hand, so are you in mine, house of Israel!7At any time I may announce that I will dig up, pull down, and destroy a nation or kingdom;8but if that nation I warned turns from its evil, then I'll relent and not carry out the harm I intended for it.9At the same time, I may announce that I will build and plant a nation or kingdom;
14So what are we going to say? Isn't this unfair on God's part? Absolutely not!15He says to Moses, I'll have mercy on whomever I choose to have mercy, and I'll show compassion to whomever I choose to show compassion.16So then, it doesn't depend on a person's desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy.17Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have put you in this position for this very thing: so I can show my power in you and so that my name can be spread through the entire earth.18So then, God has mercy on whomever he wants to, but he makes resistant whomever he wants to.19So you are going to say to me, "Then why does he still blame people? Who has ever resisted his will?"20You are only a human being. Who do you think you are to talk back to God? Does the clay say to the potter, "Why did you make me like this?"21Doesn't the potter have the power over the clay to make one pot for special purposes and another for garbage from the same lump of clay?22What if God very patiently puts up with pots made for wrath that were designed for destruction, because he wanted to show his wrath and to make his power known?23What if he did this to make the wealth of his glory known toward pots made for mercy, which he prepared in advance for glory?24We are the ones God has called. We don't come only from the Jews but we also come from the Gentiles.