The Potter's Hand
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. ~Jeremiah 18:6
I remember, as a small child, the very first time I was introduced to Play-Doh. I could spend hours on end, by myself or with other children, making shapes of animals, cars, people, or other objects. I would always start out by allowing my imagination to develop a mental image of what it was that I wanted to produce with my hands. This morning, let us see some lessons from the Potter’s hand.
We see the Potter’s purpose.
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.” The work of pottery making is more of passion than it is of necessity. A potter is known for his quality workmanship. The potter is constantly at work on the wheel in making clay that has been properly prepared into a vessel that will be useful and decorative. God is the Master Potter Who delights in shaping us into a vessel that will honor Him.
We see the Potter’s process.
First, the potter must prepare the clay. It must be dug out of the ground and set aside to settle. Sediment is poured out, and then the clay must sit at room temperature for a set time. Second, he has special tools that he uses, such as a wheel, for the spinning and turning of the clay. Third, the potter uses his expert hands for shaping and forming the clay into the image he has in mind. Fourth, the vessel he has formed will be placed in a kiln, or furnace, to be blasted at high heat so that it will become hardened. He has an unchanging process for every vessel he makes. Each vessel is different, but the process is the same. God’s process in shaping us is unchangeable. He uses His holy Word, time in prayer, ministry service, trying situations, and the work of His Spirit in developing us.
We see the Potter’s patience.
“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.” Sometimes, after the potter is working on the formation of his vessel, he discovers that it is marred or unfit. He takes it out of the wheel or sits it on a table and it falls apart! There is some hidden impurity in the clay that mars it. Sin that is unconfessed in our life is an impurity that mars, or ruins, our vessel. The problem is never with the hands or tools of the potter, but always with the clay. So, the potter “made it again.” That potter still has an image in his mind about what that clay can become. He lovingly and patiently works the clay so that it eventually becomes a vessel good in his sight. Just as the potter is patient with the shaping of his clay, God is patient in shaping and developing us into vessels fit for the Master’s use.
We see the Potter’s pleasure.
“O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” God uses this metaphor of the potter and clay to remind us that it is “God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God’s powerful hands are constantly guiding, shaping, and reshaping us so that we become that vessel that is good in His sight. Sometimes, the impurities in our life mar our usefulness, but God lovingly makes us again. His process is powerful, purifying, and perfecting. Let the Potter’s hands mold you into the image of Christ.
Have a pliable God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Galatians 4-6