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The Clay And The Potter – By Bayo Afolaranmi

“[Thus says the Lord:] “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words…. Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand…. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good” (Jeremiah 18:2, 6, 11 NKJV).

The Bible passage, Jeremiah 18:1-11, that recounts the incident at the potter’s house as an illustration of how God deals with His creatures has been used widely in many sermons and songs/hymns. In most of these sermons and songs, the emphasis has always been on asking God to form people in the ways He wants. However, the point that God wanted to bring out in leading Prophet Jeremiah to that potter’s house to see what the potter was doing with the clay is more or less clay-centred rather than potter-centred. That is, the outcome of what the clay becomes at the wheel will determine what the potter will make out of the clay. If the clay comes out fine at the wheel, the potter is happy with it, but if the clay is marred at the wheel, the potter will make it again into another vessel.  So, what the clay becomes depends on the clay, not necessarily on the potter.

The application of that incident at the potter’s house as God later pointed it out to Jeremiah supports this proposition. While God can make anything out of people, it is the state of the people that will determine what they will become in God’s hands. If the people are obedient to God, He would be good to them, but if they were disobedient, even after warnings, He would relent to be good to them, and form them the ways they deserve (compare Deuteronomy 28, 30:15-16; Isaiah 1:19-20; 3:10-11).  This is in line with the law of sowing and reaping as explained explicitly in the Bible (see Psalm 126:5-6; Proverbs 11:18-19; 22:8; 28:20; Ecclesiastes 11:1; Luke 6:38; John 12:24-25; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Galatians 6:7-10; Philippians 4:14-19; Colossians 3:23-24).

As clay in God’s hands, how do you want Him to shape you? This depends on you. If you want to be a useful and honourable vessel in His hands, then, you need to be obedient by cleansing yourself from all sinful acts and sanctifying yourself for His good use (see 2 Timothy 2:20-22; Romans 12:1-2). God is not a capricious God who does things without a reason. You are the major determinant of what He will do with you.

In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). 

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be obedient to God and do His will so that He will do well with you and make good use of you.

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