We are CLAY in the HAND of GOD (the Master POTTER)
August 12 Bible Reading: Jeremiah Chapters 16-18
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 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. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "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!" (Jer 18:1-6)
In chapter 18, prophet Jeremiah was commanded by God to go to the potter’s house in order to learn a lesson. What he saw there was that the potter was sitting at the wheel and spinning the lower stone with his feet which caused the upper disc to rotate. This enabled both hands of the potter to be free in order to work the clay into shape. Should the vessel become spoiled due to any impurity, the potter would not just discard the clay, but simply remold it into another vessel according to his modified plan.
The lesson for Jeremiah was that God was the potter and Israel was the vessel being formed into shape (Isaiah 45:9; 64:8). The spoiling of the vessel was not God’s fault but Israel’s. The potter’s vessel was marred, and thus not suitable for its intended purpose. The potter’s remolding of the clay into an acceptable and unblemished work symbolized God’s action in reforming Israel. The people had become marred (defiled) and had to be reformed into a vessel fit to be identified with God.
Thus, God taught Jeremiah a profound lesson about His sovereignty and His right to discipline Israel until she conformed to His plan. Perhaps a hard lump in the clay ruined the vessel as it spun on the potter’s wheel. The potter must remove the hard lump to achieve his purpose in reshaping the vessel. Israel was the chosen vessel to bring God’s blessing to the world, and Romans 9:1–5 describes what God had put into that vessel. Many times in her history, when Israel would not yield to God, He made her again. She was marred but still in His hands, and He made her again. God will do the same for anyone who yields to His will.