“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 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.”
Jeremiah 18:2, 5, 6
Such a powerful and practical object lesson is seen as God sends Jeremiah to visit the potter. The prophet heard from the Lord while observing the craftsman at his trade. As the man of God watched the potter at work, he learned a lesson about how God works in lives and nations. The message for Jeremiah had to do specifically with the relationship God had with the nation of Israel.
God maintains influence and power over individuals and nations. It is arrogant for individuals or nations to think that they are above the dominion of the Almighty. God wanted Jeremiah to see the potter as an illustration of the Lord’s direct involvement in His people, and the clay as representing His people. Though Jeremiah’s lesson was particularly for Israel, we can easily see how this principle applies to our lives as well. The potter has the authority and the ability to shape the clay into the image that He desires. We are the clay and He is the Potter.
Because God is the Potter, He knows what He wants to do in our lives. The Potter has a vision of what the finished product should look like. Sometimes we may have an idea of what our lives are to be, but it is more important that we realize that the Potter knows what is best for us. Because He has a plan for us, He may allow certain influences into our lives that will help bring about the changes that He desires. These changes can be troubling and perhaps painful. However, since we know that He is the Potter, we can trust Him with our lives. We are a work in progress. The Potter is working in our lives and shaping us into the image that He desires.
Just as the vessel in Jeremiah’s day was marred in the hands of the potter, our lives, too, may be marred or disfigured. The Potter has the ability to take that clay and make it into another vessel, as it seems good to Him. Because we are only clay, we should respect and submit to the work that God desires to do in our lives. We should also be reminded that we are only vessels. Each of us is unique and custom made, being shaped by the Potter to carry out His perfect will, all for His glory.