THE POTTER AND THE CLAY
(Isa 64:8) But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.
I loved art class in school. I wasn’t peak at it (I think I pulled a B) but I loved to be creative. One day the teacher said we were going to throw pots. I said what in the world? Sounds violent. But then she explained we were going to give a try at the potter’s wheel and endeavor to make a bowl. Well, it was probably the wobbliest bowl you ever did see and I think I used it once or twice as a cereal bowl until it broke. But the experience was indeed memorable.
Jeremiah had an experience he never forgot. (Jer 18:1-6) The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!
God wanted to make Israel something special He had in mind. Like any potter or artist the concept usually precedes the craftsmanship. God wants to make us something unique, too. He wants to fashion us into the image of Jesus His Son. (Rom 8:29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . . As I am on the wheel I can feel God molding me. Sometimes it feels good like a massage. At other times it hurts. I can complain or I can just trust the Potter that pressure is necessary to round me out into something useful. (Rom 9:20-21) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
I remember water being so necessary in working with clay in that art class. The Bible says the water is the Word of God applied to our lives (John 15:3; Eph 5:26). If I read and put into practice God’s Word, then I will maintain that softness and give God something He can work with. If I slack off in attending to God’s Word then I will dry out and even worse, I will harden. What can God do with that? (Psa 95:7-8) . . . Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness. I’ve seen potters toss to the side those hard and clumpy pieces of clay and look for something more malleable. May I never be disqualified from the original intent of the Potter. (2 Tim 2:20-21)
May God keep us useful and may we be a vessel of honor He can use for His glory!