Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
The artisan reveals their mastery by the form of their hands. Each piece gives report of its designer, every fabrication lends insight to its master.
The unique design of art, whether a painting, a sculpture, or a design shows forth the skill and invention of thought and craftsmanship.
I’ve always been enamored by artists of great skill. I wonder how they can take something they visualize and form it into something tangible. Something others can see, touch, or feel as an expression of thought, being appreciated by all who see.
What greater measure of worth when the grand artist of Creation brings forth His original design.
Isaiah 45:11-13 “Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded.
I have raised him up in righteousness,
And I will direct all his ways;
He shall build My city
And let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
The song of the redeemed reflects the maker. The sons of God have been formed after a masterpiece, made in the image of their maker they have been brought forth to bring glory to the One who formed them.
Yet, there remains a people who have been wrought by God and yet still resist Him. The clay rejects it’s form as being made by its Creator and declares….”I have made myself!”. The absurdity that pottery was not formed by the Potter leaves those who witness such a sight in awe; the belligerent speak but who will listen?; to those who know the Potter, the very thought is an affront to the One who created them.
Psalm 14:1 “To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
The atheist and the humanist considers their form and reject the image created by the Master. They look to the Universe, another form of God’s mastery and think they must have come forth from this! The beauty of God’s Creation is evident all around us, some recognize the artistry and see the design, others conclude in foolishness.
The Song of the Potter
Turn, turn, my wheel! Turn round and round,
Without a pause, without a sound:
So spins the flying world away!
This clay, well mixed with marl and sand,
Follows the motion of my hand;
For some must follow, and some command,
Though all are made of clay!
Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.
Turn, turn, my wheel! All life is brief;
What now is bud will soon be leaf,
What now is leaf will soon decay;
The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
The blue eggs in the robin’s nest
Will soon have wings and beak and breast,
And flutter and fly away.
Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar
A touch can make, a touch can mar;
And shall it to the Potter say,
What makest thou? Thou hast no hand?
As men who think to understand
A world by their Creator planned,
Who wiser is than they?
Turn, turn, my wheel! ‘Tis nature’s plan
The child should grow into the man,
The man grow wrinkled, old, and gray;
In youth the heart exults and sings,
The pulses leap, the feet have wings;
In age the cricket chirps, and brings
The harvest home of day.
Turn, turn, my wheel! The human race,
Of every tongue, of every place,
Caucasian, Coptic, or Malay,
All that inhabit this great earth,
Whatever be their rank or worth,
Are kindred and allied by birth,
And made of the same clay.
Turn, turn, my wheel! What is begun
At daybreak must at dark be done,
To-morrow will be another day;
To-morrow the hot furnace flame
Will search the heart and try the frame,
And stamp with honor or with shame
These vessels made of clay.
Stop, stop, my wheel! Too soon, too soon
The noon will be the afternoon,
Too soon to-day be yesterday;
Behind us in our path we cast
The broken potsherds of the past,
And all are ground to dust at last,
And trodden into clay.—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This poem paints a description of God’s artistry displayed on multiple levels. LIke a living painting, God has formed Creation in a way that dynamically displays His glory. How can we look upon the complexity of life, the mastery of Creation and conclude there is no God?
The absurdity of denial shows forth the magnitude of man’s pride.
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
Evidence of the Master
The people of God show forth the touch of the Master’s hand. Like an old violin that seemed to be of no worth, out of tune and cast aside as worthless, when held and played by the master it brings forth a sound that all can hear and rejoice in.
The Touch of the Master’s Hand by Wayne Watson reminds me of the value we have in God’s hand.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
How do you see yourself?
If you look at your form and only see the formless clay of sin, then you will be distraught as to your inherent worth.
On our own we are a gross misrepresentation of the Master. What was once beautiful has been misshapen and warped by sin. When placed into the Master’s hand, we take form into an image that He creates, it is this form we were originally meant for.
Jeremiah 18:3,4 “So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
In the Potter’s hands, people are made into vessels of honor. Jesus brought purity into what was once defiled. Do you know what His vessels now hold?
The Water of Life!
The pure, holy, water of the Spirit of God is poured into the life of a believer and that water is made to give life to them and through them. You see, we don’t form ourselves into worthy vessels, nor do we fill ourselves with the water of God….He does it all.
Our responsibility is to be pliable, willing to be shaped by His hands and trusting Him for how that shape is taking form. We have to trust God that His purposes for us will be good, worthy of honor, and made useful in His hands. The image God has formed in you brings glory back to Him because everything you are is a product of His Creation.
To those who reject His touch, these vessels will be cast out and crushed.
Romans 9:20-21 “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”
For those who trust the Potter, the form created is made perfect in His image. For those who reject Him, they will soon realize they are nothing apart from Him.
Can you see the mastery of God?
I encourage you, remember who formed you and rejoice in what He has made. Don’t try to be like another nor count your worth as any less than someone else who is being formed. Each piece in God’s hand is unique, each forms another representation of His mastery and gives insight into God’s unique design.
You have been created for a purpose—trust Him for that purpose.