A Great Lesson From The Potter's House       











The Potter And The Clay

Text: Jeremiah 18:1-6 IBCSWS 12/12/04
Preacher: Pastor Jose B. Cabajar


       The beneficial impact of the spiritual message of the “The Potter And The Clay” is yet to be appreciated by natural men.

       The Bible is an excellent key to unlock and uncover the precious message of truth from the potter’s house. The Word of God takes a high profile role in man’s search for the truth. Man’s high regard toward God’s will serves as an essential vehicle in bringing him to where God wants him to be.

       In Jeremiah 18:2, it is written, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. (KJV) This important passage from the Scriptures entails an exciting means of spiritual learning from our Creator who shaped the first man out of the dust.

       Jeremiah 18:3 gives us an idea concerning Jeremiah’s willingness to learn from God’s expressive and unique way of teaching His children. Undeniably, spiritual wisdom is being offered to an interested person who is willing to take heed to the Word of God.

       (I) God’s Noteworthy Message To Men
           Jeremiah 18:1-4
           -A relevant message
           -A message not to be ignored
           -A message to be understood

       It’s really a blessing to visit a place where we could personally see a skilled potter shaping a beautiful earthen vessel out of formless clay. Its striking message will certainly widen our spiritual understanding. Jeremiah’s remarkable experience will surely come to life again as God’s unique reminder to every man in the so-called “Modernized World.”

       Truly, God’s noteworthy messages through the Scriptures are always relevant at all times. For this reason, the spiritual lesson we could learn from the potter’s house should not be taken lightly or intentionally ignored, but heartily embraced and carefully understood.

       Our adversary, the devil, keeps his sharp eyes on people whose lives he aims to destroy through his deceitful and destructive ways, but through this God-given lesson, we could become more sensitive to the working of God and gain more wisdom on how to subdue Satan’s crushing mallet.

       (II) God: The Potter
            Jeremiah 18:5-6
            -Mankind: The Clay

       In Isaiah 64:8, it is written, But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (KJV) God is our Creator and He has the power to mould us according to His plan. We are nothing but clay relying on the Potter’s wonderful working and the more we submit to His moulding process, the more we will come out pleasing before Him.

       A careful study on Jeremiah 18:4-6 leads us to realization and awareness on how our Heavenly Father puts us on His wheels to shape us as seems good to Him.

       (III) Important Things To Be Considered
            Jeremiah 18:6
            -The authority and blessed will of God

       In verse six, the LORD said, “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?” (KJV) By this emphatic question, God reminded the Israelites concerning His authority, lest they become unmindful of His blessed will for the nation Israel and overlook His infinite power over His creation. Then the LORD said, “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (KJV)

           -The required obedience of man

       The importance of total obedience and its God-glorifying results are worthy to be pondered as the Lord continues to form believers through His skilful, caring hands.

       In Isaiah 45:9, it is written, Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands? (KJV) Justly, as the clay has no power over the potter, so is a believer on his Maker, which is the Lord.

       Total obedience to The Word of God and humble attitude toward His life-changing process of shaping lives lead a believer to Christ-likeness.

           -The sensitive emotion of God

       The potter’s emotion during working hours plays a sensitive role in making a beautiful and durable earthen vessel. Every time a joyful potter puts clay on the potter’s wheels, spinning and forming it according to his will, the result is always superb and delightful beyond degree. On the other hand if grief floods the potter’s soul, no remarkable vessel is made by his grief-troubled hands. The product always reveals the potter’s emotion.

       In Ephesians 4:30, it is written, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (KJV) It is so interesting to note that the Spirit of God is not merely an active force as some ignorant people claim but a God with a sensitive emotion.

       We are the clay and The Lord is our potter. We should be aware that giving grief to the Lord puts us in a risky place where we could possibly lose our God-given opportunity to display His greatness and power through our lives.

           -The moulding process of God

       Taking notes on the process of jar making is interesting and an effective way of learning. Its spiritual significance helps every believer to gain more knowledge and understanding concerning God’s creative way of shaping the lives of His precious children.

       It is so amazing to see a well-mixed mass of clay placed on the potter’s wheels ready to be shaped according to the potter’s will. The potter spins the wheels through his foot then gently and skilfully moulds the formless clay.

      The potter’s physical and emotional composure cannot be ignored as he expectantly waits the clay to rise. In just a few minutes, the shapeless clay gradually rises up showing its promising beauty as the potter’s amazing hands form it aesthetically with care and incomparable interest.


Photo By Jose B. Cabajar


       To make a bigger vessel, the potter moulds the upper part and the lower part separately and then joins them meticulously. The part that catches our attention is the progressive procedure in which the potter carefully taps the vessel with his flat wooden tool to strengthen the joining, to shape the vessel and make it firm and beautiful. Some extra master’s touches are being made to enhance the vessel’s distinction and peculiarity.

       Every believer is in the hands of God and being shaped according to His perfect will. As the potter pats the clay for a purpose, so is the Lord in shaping us through chastisement, not to destroy us, but to teach, discipline and strengthen us. It is also a wonderful manifestation of His great love for His children.

       In Hebrews 12:5-6, it is written, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth , and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (KJV)

       Furthermore, the Bible explains the benefits of the Lord’s chastening. In Hebrews 12:10, it is written, For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (KJV) Truly, God is the Potter, we are the clay.

           -The attitude of man toward a fiery test

       How wonderful is the message of God through “The Potter And The Clay.” Knowing the truth that a newly formed jar is a very weak vessel and cannot be used yet unless it passes through the fire is a special knowledge to be considered and to be treasured.

       God permits fiery trials to come across our paths of life because these are great help in giving us an opportunity to be strengthened and become more usable for the Master’s use. We really need a good attitude toward the working of God in our lives. Job is a classic example of that kind of attitude when he said, “but he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 (KJV)

       During the process of strengthening the earthen vessels through the fire, some vessels become deformed because of the charring heat. Like the deformed vessels, so are Christians that are greatly affected by fiery trials of life because of their negative attitude during trying moments.

       In I Peter 1:6-7, it is written, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (KJV)

       May the Word of God be always in our hearts to help us when our faith is tested beyond measure. In I Thessalonians 5:18, it is written, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)

           -The wonderful result

       The result is so amazing to the point that we could be led to sing “How Great Thou Art.”

       In the potter’s place one could see and appreciate the striking beauty and unquestionable durability of the earthen vessels. The variation of the vessels’ sizes and designs add to the credibility and authority of the potter. So true to believers in Christ, as we are in the Master’s hands, we go through a progressive process and time will come when the greatness of our Maker will be displayed through our lives in an awesome way.

       But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)

       On the other side, we could also see broken pieces of vessels set aside and seem useless and trodden of men.

       Surprisingly, we learned from the owner that these broken pieces are not counted useless, but still have a wonderful purpose. What an encouragement for a believer who is considered a failure and useless vessel in our society. As the saying goes, “The best is yet to come.”

       We are told that these broken pieces are being sold to “the salt maker” for a good price. The demand is high and the price is right. It is unbelievable but true that the salt maker could not produce a high-quality salt without the earthen pieces that come from the destroyed jars.

       The broken earthen vessels are being used tremendously as flooring and an excellent bed to produce high-quality salt. Think about that, hopeless Christians!

       No matter how insignificant our lives may seem to be, still, our God has always a way to use every blood-bought and blood-washed sinners saved by His “Amazing Grace.”

       To God be the glory great things He has done.




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Jose B. Cabajar Ministry