“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.” Jeremiah 18:2-3
I have always been fascinated by the ability of a potter to form and create an object from a lump of clay. I’ve been told that often the potter knows what the clay should be based on how it feels in his or her hands; but sometimes the potter has a particular vision in mind and selects a particular type of clay for the intended purpose. Either way, watching a potter at work as they mold and shape the clay to bring what appears to be a useless lump into something useful and/or beautiful is truly an amazing thing to see.
The reality is though, it is completely up to the potter to create and shape the object based on his predetermined need or desire. The clay does not identify itself as this or that or the other thing, the clay is in the hands of the potter.
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” Romans 9:21
There are times when the clay becomes marred by debris from its surroundings and must be reshaped into something new. Often sin enters our lives or we rebel against our intended purpose and the potter has to reshape us to bring us back as a useable vessel.
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” Jeremiah 18:4
There are times when the potter simply cannot rework the clay and must cast it out. The clay becomes unworkable, just as the person that is unwilling to submit to the potters hand and finds themselves unusable for the work of the Lord.
“And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit. For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” Isaiah 30:14-15
They rebelled and as a result God cast them aside, broken and unusable for any purpose. This thought brings fear to my heart as I think of so many times in my life when God could have very easily become wearied with my rebellion. Yet, when I returned to the potter He heard me and brought me back. I am so very thankful that He didn’t throw me away when I became broken; He simply molded me once again into a vessel that could be used for His honor and glory, for that my heart is humbled by gratitude.
“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8