If you’ve spent much time in church, no doubt you’ve heard lessons or messages about Jeremiah 18 and the potter’s wheel. I distinctly remember a message I heard as a teenager on this passage in which the preacher showed a video of a potter’s wheel and the images remain clear in my mind. The potter began with a lump of clay with which he has distinct plans to make a bowl or cup with. The lump of clay is placed on the wheel and begins to spin. While it is spinning, the potter adds just the right amount of water, along with just the right amount of pressure with his hands to begin to shape this pile of clay.
Sometimes however, the lump of clay seems to have a mind of it’s own and resists being shaped into the intended bowl or cup. So the potter has to essentially start over by turning the poorly-formed bowl or cup back into just a lump so he could start the process all over again. This is the imagery we read in verse 4, “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.” Then we read the Lord’s plea to the house of Israel in verse 6, “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.”
I love the imagery of this passage as it just couldn’t be any clearer the message the Lord is trying to get across. From the moment of our salvation, the Lord has one goal in mind with us- to make us Christ-like. This is what we refer to as sanctification. The Lord desires to mold us into His image so that we could be a usable vessel for his service. However, so often we are prone to resist that molding hand in our lives. We have an idea what we want to do with our lives, which often stands in contrast to God’s plan. So God has to apply some more water and then more pressure to get us to mold. Worst case, the Lord may have to essentially start again over with us. How about you today? Is the Lord trying to mold or change some area of your life that you are resisting? Far better to yield to the loving hand of our Father so that we could be a usable vessel in His service!