Isa 64:8 But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Jer 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith Jehovah. Behold, as the clay in the potter’s hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel.
Ro 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Ro 9:21 Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
I was on Youtube the other day watching a video on making primitive pottery and it made the point that it is not enough to just put clay on a pottery wheel and shape it into something useful like a bowl. The video made the point that the clay must be “cleaned” from foreign matter such as rocks and sticks so that the object made doesn’t crack and ruin it. The more critical it’s use, the more critical it is to “clean” the material.
We are compared to the clay and the potter is God (Eph 210) Our purpose is for the Master’s use and must be prepared in like manner of the clay. When we come to the Lord we are like the clay with foreign matter mixed with the clay. We bring our misinformation, our false ideas, our weaknesses, and our rebellions as the raw product to be molded into vessels of service. Prior to molding, comes the removal of the impurities. So many times we seek to be used before this refining process is done and become frustrated because we do not see the necessity of refinement. We could not stand the stresses required if we do not first go through the refinement process. Nor would we be able to be the blessing that is needed.
Another interesting point of the video was that for some uses, highly refined clay is not needed. A simple screening of impurities would suffice in making things like bricks or feeding trough but a highly refined process is required for vessels of more delicate use. The highest level of refinement requires the removal of foreign matter as well as even the smallest grains of sand, then the clay must be worked to get even the particles of clay aligned and the removal of even small amounts of air. This process requires a lot more work but once completed, the clay is fit for molding into the most delicate vessels of use and beauty. We must yield to the Master’s hand, in His preparing us for service. If we will not yield to His refinement, then we settle for being made into vessels of lesser value. It is ultimately our choice as to how mold-able we are, and it is God’s choice as to what specific vessel we become withing that level of clay.