God is imaged as a potter who works with clay (people). God wants the best possible vessel to emerge, but the quality of the clay will give shape to the results of God’s work.
The image of a potter who works with clay is used to depict God’s work with Israel and Israel’s response to that work. Though God always wants the best possible product, the story does not assume a situation in which the potter’s work always turns out well (18:4). The quality of the clay has some effect on the ability of the potter to do what he wishes, and that in turn would affect the quality of the product. The issue for the potter, then, is to make the best pottery possible with the ingredients with which he has to work. The focus is not on God’s control over the people (as some interpreters think), but on God’s initiative, creativity, and responsiveness in relation to the possibilities inherent in the situation. God will work with what is available, yet with God’s good purposes always in mind.
This understanding coheres well with the openness of the future that follows in Prophet who condemned Judah's infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant More 18:7-10, which has all nations in view, and the call to Israel to Repentance is a central biblical teaching. All people are sinful and God desires that all people repent of their sins. The Hebrew word for repent means to "turn away" from sin. The Greek word for repentance means to "change on'e mind," more specifically, it means... More in Jeremiah 18:11. Israel’s particular history is placed in the context of the wider Creation, in biblical terms, is the universe as we know or perceive it. Genesis says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In the book of Revelation (which speaks of end times) the author declares that God created all things and... More. God’s way of working with Israel has significant continuities with God’s ways with the world at large. In all cases, the future of the people is shaped at least in part by the human response to God’s word. The nations and Israel can repent of their evil and turn to God, or they can turn away from God and suffer the consequences.