Summary: Discovering the Real Life Principles with the Parable of the Potter and the Clay

Life in the Potter’s Hands

“Discovering the Life Truths of the Parable of the Potter and the Clay”

If you are truly born of God, you will have a desire to be used of the Lord:

"To be used of God

To sing, to speak, to pray.

To be used of God

To show someone the way.

I long so much to feel

The touch of His consuming fire,

To be used of God is my desire.

But do we really know what we are asking for when we ask the Lord to use us?

- READ Jeremiah 18:1-4 (There are some places in the book of Jeremiah where a glimmer of hope shines in the gloom of judgment.)

- Watching the potter turn the wheel and work the clay enables Jeremiah to grasp several important truths.


-Potter = God the Father

-Wheel = The revolving circumstances in life

-Clay = you and me as Christians

o Clay is significant because it is pliable. (It is amazing what a Potter can do with Clay that is yielded to Him.)

o Gen. 2: God formed man out of the “terra cotta” of the ground.

o It is amazing what God did! (300 trillion cells in the human body!)

o Clay is simply dust and water

o The same elements that are in clay are the same elements that are in us…the only difference is, we have the breath of life that has been breathed into us by God Himself!

o Clay cannot mold itself…only God has the power to mold and shape our lives.

o Clay was used to make pottery and pottery is also referred to as vessels (a term that God uses repeatedly in Scripture)

o LOOK AROUND: Each of you is a vessel in the hands of God.

I love this parable because it answers the questions:

Who am I?

Where did I come from?

Where am I going?

How are we formed in the Christian life…what is God up to?

The Attributes of God

I.Eyes of the Potter = Represent the omniscience of God

a.He envisions that clay and designs that clay for it to become what He has intended for it to be.

b. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a future and a hope.”

II. Hands of the Potter = Represent the omnipotence of God

a. Romans 9:20, “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to its molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?”

b. God can do anything!

c. His Power is expressed through the pressure of His hands and fingers.

d. The same word that God used in Gen. 2 when he said he “formed” man…is the same word that is used here in Jeremiah for “Forming” the clay!

III. Feet of the Potter = Represent the omnipresence of God

a. God is everywhere

b. When you get to where you’re going, God is already there!

The Activity of God

IV. The Parable is a Picture of God’s Act of Salvation

a. Israel has some of the best clay pits.

i. At the bottom of the pit is the most valuable and desirable clay.

ii. BUT if you were to fall into one of those clay pits it would be impossible for you to climb out!

1. Because the walls of that clay pit are extremely slick.

iii. Your only hope would be to look towards the light above you and to call out to Someone and ask them to pull you out.

iv. P/T: Reminds me of how I cried out to my Savior 10 years ago and to deliver me out of the pit of sin.

v. Have you done that?

vi. Psalm 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And he put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.”

vii. Before we were saved we were in a miry pit (with no hope). We must Look up and Call out to Jesus for salvation!

What I hope to do as we examine how God’s Word applies to our hearts today is to take a tour of the Potter’s House, much like Jeremiah did:

b. Jeremiah watched as the Potter lifted up some clay out of the pit

i. It was slimy mud…not only unattractive, but it was helpless

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