Summary: A guided tour of the potter’s house, and how it applies to every believer.
Imagine with me, if you would, as I take you on this tour of the potter’s house. As we walk in the door, the first thing that catches our attention is
I) The Potter
Now, the potter is the Boss. He’s the man in charge. But there’s something different about this boss. He doesn’t just sit around & watch others do the work. No, He does the work Himself.
Notice Vs. 3 says, "He wrought a work on the wheel." He takes care to make every vessel Himself. I mean, who else knows how He wants to make it? Why trust it to someone else? He’s the Potter, the Master Potter.
The next thing that we notice is
II) The Clay
How can a potter make a vessel without clay? But this is special clay. It’s not just any old clay. It’s the only type of clay that can be use to create the type of vessel The Lord wants to make. What is this special clay? We are the clay.
But notice Vs. 4 says that the clay was "marred in the hands of the Potter." The word marred means - dammaged or blemmished, deformed.
When we are placed in the hands of the Potter, in ourselves we are deformed. So what does he do? Does He just leave it like that? No!!!
He takes the clay & makes it into another vessel.
Now, before we go on, there’s one more thing we must know about the clay.
The clay is submissive to the Potter. Never does the clay say to the Potter, "I don’t want to be this, or I don’t want to be that." In our text is says, "...so he made it again another vessel as seemed good to the potter to make it." (Vs.4)
Remember, the Potter is the boss. The Potter is in control.
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?(KJV)
We should never be dissatisfied with what God is making us to be. God knows what he’s doing.
As we continue with our tour, the next thing we notice is
III) The Wheel
The wheel is a painful process. When you are on the wheel you keep spinning & spinning, around & around. Then, as if that’s not enough, the whole time you’re on the wheel the potter takes his hands & begins to work on the clay. He pushes on one side, he squeezes it, he stretches it.
Then, if he sees something he doesn’t like, he takes a knife & begins to cut or shave off the things that don’t belong.
When people are on the wheel, they have a tendency to worry or even get scared. But I want you to know there’s no need to fret, there’s no need to be dismayed. Why? Because the hands of the potter are always there. They are ever around you molding you into the vessel God wants you to be.
Then after he’s finished molding & shaping it, He takes it & puts it into a furnace or drying kiln.
IV) The Fire
Now, this drying process is very long. It takes hours to complete this process. When God is finished molding us into the vessel he wants us to be, He puts us in the fire. It’s very uncomfortable. It’s hot!
One very important thing that we must realize is that no one can go in there with you. You must go through it alone. Parents especially have a hard time with this. When their kids are going through the fire they want to hold their hand. But if you have more than one vessel in the kiln, they’ll dry & stay stuck together. That’s not good! Then both vessels have to be made all over again. You see, parents, if they don’t go through it alone they’ll never learn to depend on God.
Besides, we find comfort in what Isaiah writes.
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:(KJV)
(Breifly tell the story of Joseph from the OT)
After Joseph had gone through all of this, he came out a finished work. When you come out of the fire, you’re a finished work.