potter & clay part 1: I AM CLAY
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7) I AM CLAY. ‘What is clay?’ you may ask. By definition it is earth or mud. I am simply earth or mud, lifeless, until God sees fit to breathe into my nostrils and make me “alive”. And when He removes His breath of life, I return again to dust.
“O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jer. 18:6) God is my potter. He has the ability to shape and mold me in His hands (Jer. 18:2-4), and He has the power to allow defects or reshape me. But this I have learned – my willingness to allow God to form me into what is good in His eyes determines my outcome.
The story of the potter and the clay is what I would call a “perfect allegory”. Especially once we compare the spiritual implications of the narrative to the actual steps of making pottery. Since the last time I cast a mold was way back in elementary school, I spent some time researching the steps of pottery-making and learned a few things. First, pottery is simply “clay hardened by fire.” Second, the only two ingredients necessary for making pottery are clay and water. This gives the water a conspicuously crucial role in molding the clay. In the Scriptures we see water being depicted as the Word of God (Eph 5:26), which was God (John 1:1), and the Word becoming flesh (John 1:14a), which is Jesus (John 1:14b). It is no surprise, then, that God would use the symbolism of water to indicate the need for spiritual molding that happens only by virtue of His Son.
Matthew 4:4 reads, “But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Given what we already see about water, this says to me that in order to become what He desires, we should immerse ourselves in the word of God. If you don’t know where to start in your Bible study, I recommend you view this video for suggestions or really research some of the scriptures in this article. Similar to new year cleaning, it is important to allow God’s word to prick your heart and cause repentance for God to begin to shape and mold you into a vessel that is good in His eyes…
Part 2 of Potter coming soon