TO CHEW ON: "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." Jeremiah 18:4
The Bible writers often use everyday objects and activities to teach lessons of the Spirit. Here Jeremiah bases his prophecy and plea to Israel on a visit God instructs him to make to a pottery shop. As he watches the craftsman shape the glistening clay spinning under his hands, then change the pot's form when the clay refuses to cooperate, God gives him a message for Israel. He draws their attention to similarities between the potter working with the clay, and God working with people.
- Just as the potter is sovereign over the clay, doing with it as he pleases, so God is sovereign over the "house of Israel."
- What the potter makes depends on the clay. When the vessel he is making doesn't stand up to the process but becomes marred, he shapes it into a different one. Similarly, what God can do with Israel depends on her response to Him.
My Bible study notes sum up these lessons well: "As the quality of the clay limits what the potter can do with it, so the quality of a people limits what God can do with them." Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 985.
We can apply this potter picture to our own lives as we ask questions like:
- Am I frustrating or malleable clay in God's hands?
- Do I insist on fulfilling my own plans and ambitions, or do I submit those to Him. When circumstances in my life don't turn out as I plan, do I get all frustrated?
- Do I realize that God may be shaping me for some task of which I'm not aware?
- Am I letting the Master Potter shape my life into whatever jar, cup, plate or pitcher most useful for the purposes of His kingdom?
PRAYER: Dear God, please show me where the clay of my life is stubborn or marred with impurities. I want my life to be good clay, that You can shape for Your kingdom purposes. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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