Because of our nation’s history and beginnings, rebels seem to hold a special place in the heart of Americans. We tend to idolize and respect those who have the audacity to break the mold, go against the norm, and march to the beat of their own drum. However, throughout the Bible and human history rebellion has never been a good thing. It has only caused hardship, war, and misfortune. In fact, it was Lucifer’s decision to rebel against God’s order that caused him and his cohorts to be cast out of heaven. Then Adam and Eve’s desire to become like God in knowing good and evil led them to disobey God’s command and rebel against their Creator. Thus, sin and death entered the world.
Israel spurned the good, built their own kingdom of princes and politics, and became a useless vessel. They no longer trusted and relied upon the LORD to see them through the difficult times but ran off to Assyria for help and hired allies. They made foolish decisions and trusted in human strength all because of one thing: they had willfully forgotten their Maker.
Throughout Scripture the image of a vessel is used symbolically and metaphorically. It denotes a thing of utility, and a good vessel is the masterpiece of an expert potter. In the New Testament, we are called jars of clay or earthen vessels which house the Spirit of the living God, making us valuable and ones for honorable use. However, Israel is called the complete opposite.
“Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless vessel.”