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Summary: Ever felt like a grasshopper? Unimportant, inferior, low-down? Israel felt that way when Moses’ spies reported back from their excursion into the Promised Land. They said, "And there we saw the giants, . . . and we were in our own sight as grasshoppe

CLAY PEOPLE

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 3:19; Jeremiah 18:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:7

Introduction

Ever felt like a grasshopper?

Unimportant, inferior, low-down?

Israel felt that way when Moses’ spies reported back from their excursion into the Promised Land. They said, "And there we saw the giants, . . . and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers" (Numbers 13:33).

These people were impressed with the land, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of unbelievable fertility, a land of incalculable promise. They were also impressed with the inhabitants of the land, so impressed in fact that they were whipped before they started.

The princes of Israel were overwhelmed with their own inferiority. It was inevitable that they projected inferiority upon the inhabitants. They said, "We were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

This was not really true, as subsequent events revealed, but it highlights the double deception of an inferiority complex. The man who trusts in himself sooner or later feels like a grasshopper in his own sight, and he thinks everybody else feels the same way about him. As long as circumstances are all right, he makes out; but when life tumbles in, he crawls. The confidence he has is self-confidence and is sheer illusion.

What a difference in the person who has God-confidence! He’s invincible because he counts on the resources of God, not on his own weak, limited assets. He’s certain of victory because he’s absolutely sure of the victor! Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).

Just what are you? Are you an accidental, evolved, compilation of male and female genes? Some people think so! Are you an animal? With blood and organs and breath? With instincts and muscular reactions? No less and really no more than an ape in the African jungle? Some people think so! Are you a lonely, isolated universal happening? A blob soon to dry? A ripple soon to cease? A speck soon to be blown away? Some people think so!

But what are you? Really and truly!

Ask your doctor. He’ll tell you one thing. Ask your science professor. He’ll tell you another. Ask the chemist and he will tell you something else. But ask God and God will tell you that you are the creation of His hands. You are the fruit of His labor. You are the apple of His eye. You are the pride of His heart. You are the choice object of God’s eternal love.

Just like each of us, the prophet Jeremiah wrestled with this whole concept of man. What is he? Where is he going? Why the dilemma of life? Jeremiah was especially disturbed that God’s people had deaf ears and hard hearts. They would neither listen nor heed the warnings Jeremiah preached day after day.

God spoke to Jeremiah: "Go down to the potters house, Jeremiah. Watch him work. Learn a lesson" (see Jeremiah

18:2).

Numerous songs have been written and many sermons preached about the potter and the clay. It remains yet a beautiful lesson.

Pottery is a science of man rather than of manufacturing. The potter himself is the most important element. The clay next. God said: "I am the potter. You are the clay."

Picture it in your mind. The potter is seated on the ground, with a mass of clay nearby, a vessel of water by his side, and in front of him the potter’s wheel. After moistening and softening the clay, he puts it on the horizontal wheel, and then with the wheel turning, he touches the revolving lump of clay and begins to shape the vessel. Sometimes, when the vessel Is near completion, the potter discovers a serious flaw. But because the clay Is still pliable, the potter is able to form the vessel again and place the clay once more on the wheel, where he forms a new vessel.

Ever hear someone say, "Mr. Jones is a self-made man." I’ve heard it and I know what is generally meant, but it’s not really true. There are no self-made men. We are all the work of God’s hand. "It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves."

THE ORIGINAL PLAN

long before the house you presently dwell in was erected, the house existed in the mind, in the thoughts, of an architect or builder. Also, long before the world existed in material form, long before you became flesh and blood, you existed in the mind of God.

God is knowledgeable. In fact, He knows all things. God also wills. He decrees. He plans. Not only has God planned what you presently are, but God is planning what you are capable of becoming. God knows the precise processes needed to make you a vessel of honor.

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