Sunday: God as Potter

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isa. 64:8).1

When is the first time the Bible reveals God displaying His skills working with “clay”? Gen. 1:26, 27, 312:7

Scripture opens with God creating the first humans out of the “dust of the ground.” In fact, the Hebrew word for “man,” adam is closely tied to the Hebrew word for “ground,” which is adamah—a linguistic link that enforces the amazing truth about God’s skill as a “potter.” He truly formed us out of the clay of the ground. It’s hard to imagine how a human being, with our blood and bones and skin and nerves and all the amazing parts of our body, could have been formed from the ground. Our existence is a miracle that is way beyond human understanding.

In a sense, though the “potter” image works, in that the Lord used clay to form us, in other ways (as is with most imagery seeking to explain God’s work and power) it hardly does justice to His creativity and artistry. After all, what potter can take clay and turn it into a living, breathing thing?

Read Jeremiah 18:3–10Isaiah 64:5–8Psalm 51:10. How is the imagery of God as potter used in some of these texts?  

Among the concepts revealed in these verses is the idea of just how helpless we are before the power of God. We are, in a sense, like clay in the hands of a potter; the potter, not the clay, is in charge.

At the same time, God is working to recreate in us His image. However much God cares about His physical creation, how much more would He care about the beauty of what He can do in us? We are to surrender, to die to self, and to cooperate with the Lord, who seeks to recreate and restore us, as much as possible, to the original spiritual and moral beauty that we once had. Sure, outside appearances can be beautiful, but inner beauty is what really matters.

Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky created a fictional character who had, Dostoevsky said, a “beautiful soul.” What is your idea of a “beautiful soul,” and what things in you do, and do not, correspond to that ideal?



Sunday: God as Potter — 6 Comments

  1. It is amazing when we make this comparison, the beauty of clay is the ability of a potter to easily play with it and create whatever he likes. Unlike the example of a car and mechanic, the Potter is all powerful when it comes to the art of creation. Psalm Psalm 8:3 is one of my favorite, " When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your finger,The moon and the stars which You have ordained, What is man..."

    • I am excited at Psalms 8:3. The words are so alive - God created every thing, whether seen or not seen. It is very delicate, intricate, amazing, powerful and difficult to comprehend in how each unit created is important in regarding total life.

  2. I really like that, however much outside appearances look beautiful, inside beauty surely matters. And am glad at how God works Persistently and patiently to restore our inward beauty that we once had! Wow! What a Graceous God we serve! May His Precious Will Always be done in us.

  3. "Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 29:2).

  4. In Eastern part of Uganda, where I was actually born, many people make pots. Having observed how a potter molds a pot, this lesson has indeed thrilled me with God's greatness. Clay is always at the potter's mercy. Its the potter who gives it shape and designs it to look so beautiful. We are so blessed that God designed and shaped us in His Imagine. Don't you think God had the ability to create us in any image for example a pig? Yes He had that ability but because we are His most beloved creation, He chose to mold us in His own image.
    Despite that love and care, the descents of Adam have moved away from God. We have failed to understand one thing: Just as clay has no power over the potter, God has power to terminate our existence but because of His love, He keeps on giving us a chance.
    This lesson has also showed me that being a very skilled potter, God has the ability to repair us. May we continuous surrender to His word so that we are repaired of the bad things on us as a result of sin. Amen.

  5. How excellent is God's hands as a potter. He makes arteries, cells, bones in different size for you to be here now. praise be to HIM.


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