Summary: There is no mistake the hand of God can’t correct, there is no damage the hand of God can’t repair, there is no problem the hand of God can’t solve. The hand of God upon your life will certainly give you a New Beginning.
Text: Jeremiah 18:1-4
GOD IS NO ORDINARY POTTER
In Jeremiah 18:1-4, God opened Jeremiah’s spiritual eyes to see how we are in the hands of a loving God. Jeremiah got an understanding of what happens to a man or situation when that person or situation is placed in the hands of a loving God. The New Living Translation of verse 4 of this scripture says “But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over”. When you are in the hands of a loving God, He gives you opportunities to start all over again; He makes it possible for you to experience a new beginning.
God is no ordinary potter. This was what God wanted Jeremiah to understand that was why He sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house. If what God had shown Jeremiah was clay in the hands of another person not a potter, what Jeremiah would have seen would have been a completely different thing.
We understand from verse 4 that while the pot was in the hands of the potter, it was marred, it got spoilt, it didn’t turn out well. Here are two possible responses someone who isn’t a potter would have had to this situation:
1. The person may not have had the patience to start all over again or to continue working with that same pot.
Starting over requires a lot of patience. God as a potter is able to start over with the same marred, spoilt pot because He is no ordinary potter. We are clay in the hands of a patient and loving God.
Most of us have very low tolerance for the weaknesses, faults and mistakes of others. When people are not performing up to our expectations, we start boiling, get angry and flare up. If God used to flare up the same way we do, most or all of us would have been dead by now, we would have been consumed by the wrath of God. But Lamentations 3:22 tells us that it is because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
There are some weaknesses we can’t tolerate in people. Many of us can’t stand people who are slow, lazy, fearful and indecisive or people who are arrogant, blunt and bossy. We very easily and quickly punish people for their weaknesses, we are quick to give up on people because of their weaknesses. God on the other hand is not quick to punish or give up on people like we are, He patiently waits for us to repent and change (2 Peter 3:9, Psalm 103:8.). It is if we refuse to repent and change after several attempts by God to get us to change that we come under His judgment (Jeremiah 18:5-12).
Even though the pot didn’t turn out well, it wasn’t looking good, it had some flaws, it didn’t meet up to the potter’s expectations, the potter still continued working on and with the clay. That is how we are in the hands of God.
2. The person may have thrown the pot away or discarded it.
When items in our homes or offices get spoilt, damaged, broken or rotten, what do we do with those items? We throw them away, put them aside, dump or abandon them somewhere in our store or backyard. As far as we are concerned, they are no longer desirable and useful. But when you are in the hands of a loving and merciful God as the prophet Jeremiah saw, no matter how spiritually rotten, spoilt, damaged or broken you are, God will not throw you away, He will not abandon you. The potter still had use for the marred pot; He still continued working on it. Because God is ever so merciful, He gives spiritually marred, damaged, broken, spoilt and rotten people an opportunity to start over, He gives them a new beginning (Isaiah 1:18).
OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THINGS IN THE HANDS OF MAN AND THINGS IN THE HANDS OF GOD
• What is in the hand of a man can be stolen. At gunpoint, your phone, car, jewelry, even your very life can be taken away. But whatever is placed in the hands of God is secure there. John 10:29 says “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand”. The hand of God is the safest place to be.
• No matter how physically fit and strong a person is, there is a limit to what he can carry in his hands. The world weightlifting champions or record holders have been able to carry weights measuring over 200kg. And that’s a lot of weight to carry. But Job 12:10 tells us that God is carrying in His hands the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. God’s hands are strong enough to carry at the same time all the animals in this world, billions of people, the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks (Psalm 95:4). Isaiah 40:12 tells us that what God is carrying in His hand is immeasurable; too large, too extensive. No measuring scale has the measuring unit to measure what God is carrying in His hands.