The Master Potter

Isaiah the prophet once wrote, “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker – an earthenware vessel among the vessels of the earth!  Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?  Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’” (Isaiah 45:9-10)

At least six passages of Scripture aptly use the figure of a Potter to describe God’s nature and relationship to His creation.  As earthenware vessels, there are some important lessons we need to learn if we are to have the appropriate reverence for our Maker.

The Potter created us.  In verse 12 of Isaiah 45, God said, “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it.  I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their host.”  The fact that He created us demands that we recognize and acknowledge certain implications.

The Potter is sovereign.  The Creator of the universe is at liberty to do as He pleases.  Only a being greater than He could hope to regulate His affairs but, of course, such a being simply does not exist.  As it turns out, we are blessed that our Creator is loving and righteous.  He is also just and merciful. 

Some folks believe that God predestined that some individuals will be eternally lost and that others will be eternally saved, but such a horrific notion cannot be true.  “God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).  “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  If God predetermined that some would be lost, both Paul and Timothy lied.

The Potter has the right to judge us.  The sovereign Creator has revealed His expectations of us and will one day hold us accountable.  “Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds” (Romans 2:4-6).

The message is clear, though many struggle to accept the obvious conclusion: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).