The picture in this passage is that God is the potter and you and I are the clay he works with. Think about the potter: he has in mind what he will make; the clay pot is the personal work of his hands; he makes one clay thing at a time and each one is unique; he makes some clay things for beauty and some for utility; it is the potter who works the clay rather than the clay working the potter.
Possibly you are like me right now, with a big item on my plate that I have to continually offer to the Lord in trust. I take it back, worry about it – then surrender it again to the Lord. It’s a great and practical faith challenge! “Lord– what are you up to??”
In my bible reading schedule I recently came upon these verses in Isaiah 45:9, 10: “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘what are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?
They say that nothing is as fragile archeologically as pottery, but nothing is so enduring as potshards – little pieces of pottery. There are potshards by the millions in Israel – I took this photo of a dig at Beth Shemesh where Samson grew up.
The picture in this passage is that God is the potter and you and I are the clay he works with. Think about the potter: he has in mind what he will make; the clay pot is the personal work of his hands; he makes one clay thing at a time and each one is unique; he makes some clay things for beauty and some for utility; it is the potter who works the clay rather than the clay working the potter. You get the picture.
Think about the clay: it must be worked on when it is pliable; it must go through the fire to be useful and endure; it can be squashed and reformed; it cannot form itself – it only has worth in the hands of the potter.
It is true that God is approachable – we can ask these questions. The coming of Jesus has told us this. But there is also the sense that God is the potter –and sometimes we just have to trust that he knows what he is doing. Isaiah goes on to say: “This is what the Lord says – the Holy One of Israel and its Maker; Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts” vss11,12.
Miguel De Molinos was the founder of Quietism in the 1600s. In 1675 he wrote: “Walk with firm faith and a holy silence, dying in thy self, with all thy natural industry, trusting that God, who is he who is and changes not, neither can err, intends nothing but thy good.”
Have a listen to this version of a great song – and let the Potter make you what he wants you to be!
Pastor Leon Throness