Read Jeremiah 18.
God told Jeremiah to go to the potter's house and there he would receive a message.
1. Jeremiah's Observation. (vv.3-4)
The first thing he noticed was the potter at work. The vessel of clay he fashioned was flawed. The flaw turned out to be severe enough for the potter to collapse the clay and refashion it "as it seemed good to the potter".
2. God's Declaration. (vv.5-11)
God declared that He is the potter of Israel. Israel is the clay. Like the potter, God is not idle. He is at work shaping the nation. As Sovereign Owner, it His right and responsibility to fashion and refashion the nation as He sees fit. "You are in my hand" (v.6). The LORD saw the flaw of evil in them and has declared that the nation will be collapsed in order to be reshaped. They are still His and He will use them but not in their present condition. His offer to relent is not a change of mind on God's part but an invitation for the people to change and repent of their sin.
3. The People's Condition. (v.12)
"But they say, 'That is n vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'" It truly is an insane response. Clay has no power in itself. It is totally dependent on the potter. For the clay to question or resist the potter is what is vain. On a different subject, the Apostle Paul used the same analogy in Romans 9. "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?'" (Romans 9:20)
The best thing living clay can do is to be totally submissive to the One who is shaping their life. Adelaide A. Pollard wrote:
"Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou are the Potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!