BY Tope BANSO.
“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!’” (Jeremiah 18:5-6 New King James Version)
There are two key words in the scripture above namely, potter and clay. A potter is a pottery maker. Pottery is the art, craft or vocation of making pottery from clay and hardened by fire. Ceramic objects and where they’re made are also called pottery.
The potter doesn’t use clay as it exists naturally. The clay goes through a preparation before use. The process Includes:
1. The potter collecting the clay.
2. Mixing the clay with water.
3. Removing stone and other extraneous materials as it is poured from one bowl to another to carefully sift it to refine it.
4. Adding other ingredients like straw, sand, etc. to reduce possible contraction and prevent cracking while drying or firing the vessel. The Israelites used straw in molding their bricks in Egypt to achieve a similar goal as in pottery (Exodus 5:7, 10-13, 16, 18).
5. Kneading (pressing or treading) of clay by hands or feet to make it smooth and well compressed thereby removing air trapped in the clay. Isaiah 41:25 refers to the potter treading clay.
6. Using different methods, the potter shapes the clay to achieve a predetermined design.
7. Exposing the molded clay to high temperature to harden it as a molded clay is only attractive to the eye but useless unless it is hardened. This is achieved either by drying or exposing it to fire but firing the molded clay vessel is better as sun-dried clay can only be used for dry items; it will break if liquid is poured into it. According to a Bible Dictionary, for a clay vessel to be sufficiently hardened to store liquid, it requires exposure to a minimum temperature of 500 degrees C (900 degrees F). (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers).
8. The potter decorates the clay vessel using different methods including painting. Decoration can also be done before firing.
What is the relevance of all this to you? The Bible tells us that God made man from the dust of the ground or clay (Genesis 2:7, 1 Timothy 2:13, Job 33:6b). He then breathed the breath of life into him. In John 9, Jesus gave a man born blind from the womb sight using clay (John 9:1-14).
God is the Potter, and you’re the clay (Isaiah 64:8). God takes you through a process in life to mold you after you’re born, like the potter does. God uses different methods. The process isn’t usually enjoyable but it’s to help you fulfil your destiny. You don’t determine the process. Pressing (treading) and firing are part of the process!
You must trust the LORD that He, the Potter, knows what He’s doing (Isaiah 29:16, Romans 9:20-21). Trust in the LORD (Proverbs 3:5-6), and trust in Him at all times (Psalm 62:8). Submit to the LORD’s process. Cooperate with His shaping hand.
PRAYER POINT: Father, I surrender myself to the process you’ve designed for me.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org)
●Banso, an Abuja-based minister, is with
Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Christians Only Material: Clay in the Potter’s hands
BY Tope BANSO.