Month: June 2009

Bible Study: The Potter

Last Sunday, our pastor preached on the God’s potter illustration.  It is found in Jeremiah 18:1-10:

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 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. 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. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 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. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

The sermon inspired me to post my own thoughts:

The key verse is verse 4:

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.

  • The vessel was “made of clay”: Clay is a type of soil or rock.  God formed “man of the dust of the ground” according to Genesis 2:7.
  • The vessel was “marred in the hand of the potter” not BY the hand of the potter.  I think of Job in that it wasn’t God who caused all of the disaster: it was Satan and God just allowed it.
  • I picture a rock or some hard place in the clay that is not moldable.  As the pot spins, it would catch the potter’s hand and instead of fitting the form He was making, it would cut into the surrounding clay.  The potter would have to pull that rock out before He could continue.  God is constantly refining us and removing those rebellious, sinful spots from us.
  • “he made IT again” not he threw it away and started again with another piece of clay.  He is the God of second chances.  II Peter 3:9 says he is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish.  It doesn’t matter what we have done, God is in the bussiness of remaking.