And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. –– Jeremiah 18:4
We have been through several lessons from the potter’s house in our study. In the last lesson, we spoke about how the potter saw potential beyond the marred vessel. He saw that the clay could still be a usable vessel for a purpose. We related that to how God is a God of second chances and sees potential beyond the flaws that this world may see in us.
Our final lesson from the potter’s house comes to us in the last phrase of verse 4. We read the words here about how the vessel was made again by the potter as it seemed good to the potter to make it. In other words, the potential the potter saw was not something everyone else saw. It was only seen by the potter.
We don’t know what caused the vessel to be marred. Clay during this time was often marred by stones that would cause the vessel to be marred. It might cause the vessel not to conform to the shape that the potter wanted it in initially. When the potter starts the wheel, he places the clay, and he may not see the stone. Yet, when the stone presents itself, he simply proceeds with a different design to meet a purpose.
Interestingly, many times the potter may find the stone in the clay, but he continues to apply pressure and shape the vessel. He sees what could be an issue and is already thinking ahead about how he could change that vessel. In other words, there are times that the potter may see the issues before they are ever issues.
In the course of these lessons, we have talked about God seeing our purpose and having a plan for our lives. There is a really interesting concept that plays a part in the design of our lives called free will. We were designed by God to have the ability to choose. We often talk about following the will of God. But we have the opportunity to choose and follow our own will as well.
Doing so will put us in a position of being marred. It will cause us to not be the vessel that God intended. But that God of second chances that we talked about before, He still is able to find a way to mold us and shape us into something usable. The key to the lesson here is that the design of our vessel is set out by God.
He has a specific purpose and plan for our lives. At times, our bad decisions and things get in the way. We do things that alter the plan for what God would ultimately like to see in our lives. Thankfully, those situations do not take God by surprise.
God, in His omniscience, knew the stones were there. He doesn’t stop molding and shaping us because He already knew those things were present. He knew we would be marred, but He still continues to fashion us as it seems good to Him.
The final lesson from the potter’s house is that we must submit our will to God’s will. We must allow our potter to mold us and shape us as He sees fit, not according to our own desires. When we start making decisions for ourselves, we mess things up. We will find ourselves marred.
Thankfully, the God of second chances already knows. He already has a plan for us long before we ever see it. But in those learning lessons, we must learn to submit to Him fully. He truly knows what’s best for us.
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