Summary: The Lord works sovereignly over the world & individuals because He created both the world & its people. It is His right as Creator & Sustainer. What God does He does in righteousness in order to bring forth righteousness.
ISAIAH 45: 8-13
RAISED UP FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Lord works sovereignly over the world and individuals because He created both the world and its people. It is His right as Creator and Sustainer. Those created have no right to rebelliously question the Creator’s ways. What God does He does in righteousness in order to bring forth righteousness.
People though like to dispute what God does, particularly when it comes to them. Israel wanted another Moses to deliver them. God didn’t see them as worthy of even this form of self-deliverance. Their deliverance would come from outside of themselves and their own power. They would not be able to take any credit for it.
I. THE PROPHET’S PRAYER, 8.
II. THE CLAY’S PROBLEM, 9-10.
III. THE POTTER’S PRODUCTION, 11-13.
Listen to the prophetic plea in verse 8. "Drip down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it.
The prophet prays that heaven and earth be enlisted to bring forth the salvation and righteousness of YAHWEH. God’s natural creation is called to serve the Lord of salvation. The picture is one of abundance (Hos. 10:12), an abundance of righteousness. The heavens pour down God’s righteousness and the people of the earth are to respond and be saved. Those saved bear the fruit of God’s salvation which is always accompanied with righteousness. God deals with mankind in righteousness and pours out His blessings upon them that they might become righteous. God always does right and deals righteously with others. Those who open up to His righteousness will have it take hold and grow in their life.
When God answer’s this prayer and rains down righteousness from heaven, if the inhabitants of the earth will open up, a great harvest of salvation will spring up. That is, people everywhere will know the Lord (6; 11:9; Hab. 2:14).
[God is the only one who can deliver. If Israel is in the darkness and trouble (ra ’) of exile, it is solely because of the Lord. Therefore it is to the Lord alone that Israel should look in order for the darkness to be turned to light and the trouble to well-being, v. 7.]
II. THE CLAY’S PROBLEM, 9-10.
Verse 9 discloses the clay’s rebellion against being clay. "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?
Woe is a funeral cry and emphasizes the seriousness of God’s complaint. Just as it would not make godly sense and even be folly for a piece of pottery to challenge the potter, so would it be folly for frail man to challenge His Maker.
To disagree with God’s ordering of one’s life or one’s world is not merely a matter of preference or out look. It is a reversal of roles, a refusal to let God be God, when the created tries to make the Creator carry out their plans. A persistent attempt to force God to serve us will result in the pronouncement of a funeral, our own (Gen. 3) [Oswalt, Isaiah 40-66, 209].
His people needed to see more clearly that they were powerless to argue in court against the Creator, the heavenly Father. They were clay potsherds, broken pieces of pottery. They were useless, unless He would remold them, and He would remold them as He determined, not they determined. [See 29:16; 64:8; Jer. 18:6 for more thought of man being God’s clay.]
Verse10 brings the argument to a human plane. "Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’"
God is not merely the maker of the universe, He is the Father of the human races. Just as it would be an affront for a child to lambaste his parents for bringing him into the world, so would it be an affront for men to challenge the purposes of YAHWEH.
When someone who is created voices disapproval of the Creator’s work he risks receiving a pronouncement of impending doom (woe, 3:9) from the Lord. A potsherd, a broken, discarded piece of pottery, has no right to question the potter. Nor does a child have the right to question why his parents brought him into the world. In the same way Israel has no right to question God her Maker (45:9, 11), the world’s Creator (12), in His plans [to raise up Cyrus (v. 13).]
It says that to challenge God’s purpose in your life is as absurd as a piece of pottery criticizing the potter who formed it. To question or criticize God’s right to design, create, and empower is folly.