In the Hands of the Potter (Jeremiah 18-19, 21)

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. (Jeremiah 18:3-4)

Clay is such an interesting medium.  The master potter works with diligence to form it into whatever he or she desires.  It’s not until the clay is fired in the kiln that it’s final form is set.

Jeremiah uses the analogy of a potter working with clay to describe how God works with His people.  There are times when a piece of pottery is misshapen and needs to be reformed, and in such a case, the potter smashes down the clay and starts again until it becomes as desired.

Israel was not taking on the correct form – the nation had become like the surrounding nations and had forsaken the Lord.  So God decided it needed to be reshaped.  In order to do this, the Israelites would be taken into slavery by the Babylonians as a reminder that God was the source of their strength and of their blessing.

Just as the nation of Israel was like clay in the hands of a potter, so are we today.  If God finds that we’re not turning out as desired, He will use circumstances to reshape us and to mold us into the people He wants us to be.  If you’re being remolded by God, don’t be discouraged.  It’s out of His love for us and out of His desire that we might be made more and more like Christ, that He allows us to go through the challenges – that in the end, we will come out as a beautiful piece of pottery.  The reshaping process is far from easy and pleasant, but we can trust that, in the end, it is good.

Father, thank You for loving me so much that You refuse to leave me the way that I am.  Thank You for good days and  hard ones – for the days of joy and for the days of sadness.  Please use all days to mold and shape me into the person You desire for me to be, and let me being willing in the process.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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