Summary: A sermon that affirms God's ministry of a new life.
God is revealed or described to us in the Bible in many different figures and images. I think that is done by the working of the Holy Spirit through various individuals because the Spirit knew that mortals alone could not do it. But also, God because of His nature and His Divine being leaves us speechless to the point that human language is actually inadequate; you really do not know what to say about Him as God. Now to the skeptics, the agnostics, the atheists, or non-believer that statement makes no sense. It’s an affront to the intellect to say that, but when you are a faith person, you just believe that He is, and the faith is not predicated on my intellect or your reasoning, faith is predicated on faith. That is why faith can not be solely rooted on the intellect, because when you try to articulate and rationalize God and faith from the standpoint of knowledge, based on mental facts, it just does not add up. Faith is about knowledge, but knowledge based on a conviction, a convincing, and a conversion that there is a God. So this book that we call the Bible gives God images, analogies, figures that help us to see Him or appreciate better.
One of the images we see in the scriptures about God is that He is a Creator (maker), that image actually as you know is the first image we get of God out of Genesis. And the context of that is, He is a maker who made something with nothing to begin with or build upon. He is the kind of maker that creates out of nothing something. That was Paul’s argument about God to the Athenians in Acts 17:24: God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
God is also called the Lord of hosts, Amos 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name. That idea gives us an image of a God who is backed by a battalion or a regiment of celestial beings that are under his charge.
In Isaiah chapter 6:1, In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple, that verse recalls the vision of Isaiah when he encountered God. The image depicts God as regal, royal, and redemptive in a setting that affirms not just the glory of God but His greatness. As Moses desired to behold God, God conveyed to him that human eyes could not experience Him in its totality, so God hid Moses in the cleft of the mountain and allowed him to get only a glimpse of the glory of God from the rear. This image of God gives us the idea of a holiness that humanness could not experience. In the stories of the chosen people of Israel, we get an image of a God who protects (fire behind the camp), provides (manna and water from a rock), and is constantly present (cloud by day and an Ark in their midst).
The Old Testament is filled with wonderful and meaningful images that try to help us see God at the level we need to see Him. And might I add, every believer who grows up in God should have some point of personal reference of who God is to you and how He is envisioned by you in accordance with the Word of God and your walk with Him. Your point and reference of who God is becomes the mainstay for you and your faith, it becomes that which helps you cling and claim the God of your faith.
This passage before us today is certainly one of the most powerful images of God, and personally, one of the images that is the magnet of meaning and ministry to me at this juncture of my own faith walk. It’s the image that keeps me rooted in my own sense of faith; it’s the image that really helps me to praise Him more in my own way of praise. It’s the image that actually reminds me of me for me, and at the same times it reminds me of what God has done and continues to do in me and with me. It really reminds me of something very glorious about Him. Perhaps you just might get a better appreciation of God and you if you hear the words of verses again:
Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.