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-From A Dad: Clay in a Potters Hand!

Posted by Scott on October 31, 2007

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As the potter’s wheel turns slowly round and round he forms a magnificent vase that he will beautifully display his most precious flowers in as people enter his shop.  He carefully presses his fingers into the clay to create just the right indention’s and artwork within that clay vase.  Once finished with his most precious work he places that vase on the shelf in the front of his shop and picks some of the most beautiful wild flowers he had ever gazed upon to place in that vase.  Everyone that comes into his shop are in utter amazement at the beauty he has created, so much so it simply takes their breath away.  It draws them to want to see more of his magnificent creations.  People from all over come to see his handy work and desire him to make a beautiful vessel for them. 

Over in the corner of the shop is another vase that does not look very good.  It is cracked and chipped, but big enough for trash and ashes to be placed in on a daily basis.  When asked about that one, he simply replies that he used old dirty clay to make that large vessel as a trash can.  He stated it had little worth to him accept that it was for the purpose of trash.  Nothing more was said about that eye sore of a trash bin in the corner of the potter’s shop.

Many would ask how a creative potter could create that ugly trash vessel in the corner and also make such a beautiful piece of artistic wonder in the front shelf of the shop.  The potter simply  replied that he is the potter and can do with the clay as he wishes.  He said some of the vases are made to be instruments to attract more people to his shop.  He created them to be vessels with tremendous worth, but still to be used as he wished.  The other vessel he made just to be used around the shop for uses of his choosing and really to make the others look more wonderful.  Anyone that is not a potter need not question the potter about his creations and purposes…that is for the potter to know.

In Romans 9:16-21 we see such a story unveiled by Paul.  As he describes this example of a lump of clay in the hands of the potter it unveils a great theological truth.  Just as the potter chooses what he wishes to create and the outcome, so God chooses to whom He will have mercy on and those He wishes not to.  That lump of clay cannot and will not decide on its own what it shall become.  The potter will not set the clay on the wheel and wait for it to accept his design for it on its own.  The clay must be molded and shaped by the potter in order for it to become anything useful.  In this example the potter has complete control of what the cold lump of clay will become.  Will it be transformed into a beautiful vase so that world can see with their own eyes the magnificent work of the creative potter?  Will it become something that is simply to be destroyed?  This is for the potter to know and understand for he has predetermined for each vessel what it will become.

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16So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.]

    17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.

    18So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills.

    19You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will?

    20But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?(A)

    21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?

Romans 9:16-21  AMP

In Exodus 9:16 we witness another fabulous truth emerge.  God tells Pharaoh that He has kept him alive so that the entire world could see the mighty power and magnificent work of a sovereign and awesome God.  God cemented Pharaoh’s heart shut so that he would pursue the Israelites to the Red Sea and have no compassion towards them.  It was God’s intention all along to use Pharaoh to be at the exact place to show how mighty He really is.  Pharaoh was simply an ugly vase to be used to be destroyed in the end to show the more magnificent vase of His creation in His chosen people.  His honor and glory is what this is all about.  This is what our life is all about…His honor and glory.  This is very hard for many people to accept, but it is the facts, the truth of God’s word. 

 “But I have raised you up  for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  -Exodus 9:16 NIV

The way in which God chooses to use His creation is not to be questioned.  Who are we to question our creator and His purposes?  For His chosen ones it is such an awesome and powerful event in our life to be called and drawn to the sovereign Lord.  What a tremendous feeling it is when we finally accept our salvation by the graciousness and mercifulness of God.  To be redeemed by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is a moving reality for each us adopted into His family.  No greater love has ever been shown by anyone than this one act of sacrifice.  I found that I love Him because He first loved me.  Let me state that again…..I love Him because He first loved me.  He loved me first and so I can love Him.  I would never have loved Him or sought Him out because of my sinful nature from birth without Him choosing me first.

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This is an amazing poetic truth that appears right in front of us in the pages of the scripture directly into our minds as we visualize a potter making his ware carefully and methodically for a purpose only he knows.  Time as we know it will tell the full story as to the eternity of our created vessel.  If you are reading this and find your heart beating fast and drawn to know God I encourage you to accept His son Jesus Christ as savior and Lord and began a life filled with pure joy of knowing our providential God personally. 

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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2 Responses to “-From A Dad: Clay in a Potters Hand!”

  1. Alice E. Thompson said

    Dear Scott Bailey, I request your permission to use the picture of the Potter’s hand forming the clay that you have shown above as part of a cover for my book that I have written. The cover will also show the vessel in a kiln and a finished vessel. I am in the process of publishing my book and need your permission. If I can have your consent, could you send me your permission as soon as possible to my e-mail address. I really appreciate your immediate response. With Jesus Precious Love, Alice

    • Scott said

      I have not been on my wordpress blog in months, so I didnt see this until today. Sorry about that. I am sure I borrowed this photo from someone else. So, as far as permission to use it in a book it is not mine to give…sorry. You will have to locate the original creator of the photo as I dont have that either. I wish you the best.

      Scott

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