Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Potter and His Clay Pots

Throughout chapters 43 -45 of Isaiah, the Lord declares that He is the Creator. There are about 10 times in these chapters that it is stated that God is the Creator. He has created Israel. He has created all things. This is especially important to show the foolishness of idolatry. Idols have to be made by people who are made by God. Idolatry is strange and a reversal of things as the creators worship the created. People worship something they have made. Idolatry is stupid; that goes for the one who worships one of the many gods of India or the one who worships politicians or cows or money. We can make a god out of anything. How vain these created idols will be in the day of judgement!

Realizing that God is our Creator and we are His creatures should teach us of the right way to relate to God. Let's look at verse 9 of Isaiah 45. "Woe to the one who argues with his Maker- one clay pot among many. Does the clay say to the one forming it, 'What are you making?'  Because He is the Creator, He can do as He wishes. He has the right as creator to do as He wants with the creatures He has made. And woe to the creature that dares to quarrel with God. The use of woe indicates that there is a curse on the one who argues with the Lord. We are simply clay pots. God used dust to make the first man and when we die our bodies will return to dust. We may be made in God's image but we are still only dust.

What if the clay pots started to get angry with the potter for how He was making them? The potter can do what he wants with the pots. Or lets use a more modern example. There are computer games where you can create people, like a hockey game where you can create a player. I can make them good or bad. Maybe they will be ugly and I can decide where they shall play. I make them and can do with them as I choose. They may not like how I make things, but there is nothing they can do. So it is with God.

People may complain and argue with God for all the troubles in their lives, but woe to them. God is the one who is in control of all things, even bad things. Verse 7 of Isaiah 45 says, "I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster, I, Yahweh, do all these things."  Disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes God has created. In Exodus 4:11 the Lord states that He makes people blind or mute. But arguing with God about what He does is futile. Even if God was sometimes unwise or cruel, what could you do? You are a clay pot. You and I are completely dependent on our Creator.We have no right to complain.

Thankfully God is not cruel, unwise or unmerciful. He is full of compassion and wisdom. There is no one equal to God in love and righteousness.So you can shake your fist at God for what He does or you can submit to Him and trust a God who is sovereign and wise. The providence of God may make no sense to you, but you can either scream at God till you are blue in the face or you can humbly trust the wise doings of gracious God. The one response brings only anger and bitterness and the other brings peace and thankfulness.

 Paul uses this same imagery of the potter and the clay in Romans 9:18-23 to silence objections to God choosing some for salvation and leaving others to wrath and judgement. Since God is Creator, He has give mercy to whomever He wants to and He has hardened others unto judgement. You may say He is not fair or that God is unjust to those who can't resist His will. But Paul doesn't explain these objections. He simply says, "But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?" Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?" Rom 9:20-21. We may not understand election and reprobation, but we can't complain or argue with God. We are clay and we need to realize that and trust that God is good and wise beyond our understanding.

"Woe to one who argues with his Maker." These are convicting words. How often have we complained about what God sends us in this life. Too many times we argue and quarrel with God when we don't like the situation we are in. We don't like how we look or where we live or our personality. Anytime we complain and grumble, we are quarreling with God who is supreme and sovereign. Arminianism is really a theological position coming from people arguing against the Lord. And the truth is, sometimes we have been  practical arminianists. All this shows us the greatness of our sin. We have all argued and complained against God even through we have no right to. But God is merciful. He has provided forgiveness and grace through Jesus Christ. We all need to come to Him confessing our sins and asking for a more humble, thankful and submissive attitude.


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