Clay In The Potter's Hand is a popular
hymn employing the analogy of God as the potter,
and Christians as the clay.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay,
Make of my life as pleases Thee each day;
Weave into beauty as You have it planned,
Make me as clay in the potter's hand.
Mold me, make me, as You'd have me be,
Take me, use me, that the lost may see;
Guard me, guide me, thru this pilgrim land,
Make me as clay, in the potter's hand.
The Potter and Clay
A potter is a person who takes clay and makes
it into pottery.
Moist clay is turned on a wheel as the potter
molds it into whatever he wants. After it's complete,
the potter's creation is fired in a kiln, which
hardens the clay.
In the analogy, God is the potter and we are
We are the Work of God's Hands Through His
As clay is the work of a potter's hands, we are
the work of God's hands.
For example, in his prayer to God for Israel,
Isaiah confesses that the nation is the work of
- "But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we
are the clay, and You our potter;
and all of us are the work of Your hand"
Likewise, when we obey the gospel and become
a Christian, baptized into Christ for the remission
of sins, born again and becoming a new creature,
we are molded by God (Jn. 3:3-8; 2 Cor. 5:17).
And how does God mold us and make us?
He changes us through His word.
- "For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes . . ." (Rom. 1:16).
- "Since you have in obedience to the truth
purified your souls for a sincere love of
the brethren, fervently love one another from
the heart, for you have been born again
not of seed which is perishable but imperishable,
that is, through the living and enduring
word of God" (1 Pet. 1:22-23).
- ". . . the word of God, which also
performs its work in you who believe"
(1 Th. 2:13).
The Clay is not Equal to the Potter
Since the potter makes the clay into whatever
he wants, he's superior to the clay.
So as the potter, God is superior to man (Is.
Therefore, we should humble ourselves before
God and submit to His will, as Jeremiah points
out when warning the inhabitants of Jerusalem
regarding their sin.
- "Shall the potter be considered as equal
with the clay, that what is made would say
to its maker, 'He did not make me'; or what
is formed say to him who formed it, He has
no understanding'?" (Is. 29:16).
And since God is greater than us, He makes us
into whatever He wants, and we serve at His good
- "So then, my beloved, just as you have always
obeyed, not as in my presence only, but
now much more in my absence, work out your
salvation with fear and trembling; for it
is God who is at work in you, both to will
and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil.
Woe to the One Who Complains Against God
We have no right to complain against God, just
as clay has no right to complain against the potter
who made it and formed it.
Paul explains this in Romans, showing that we
have no right to complain.
- "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who
answers back to God? The thing molded will
not say to the molder, 'Why did you make
me like this,' will it? Or does not the potter
have a right over the clay, to make from
the same lump one vessel for honorable use and
another for common use?" (Rom. 9:20-21).
So, we are warned not to complain against God.
Israel angered God by grumbling in the wilderness.
- "Now the people became like those who complain
of adversity in the hearing of the Lord;
and when the Lord heard it, His anger was
kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned
among them and consumed some of the outskirts
of the camp" (Num. 11:1).
And Isaiah warned Israel not to complain.
- "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'?" (Is.
And like Israel, we are warned not to complain.
- "Nor let us try the Lord, as some
of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
Nor grumble, as some of them did, and
were destroyed by the destroyer" (1 Cor. 10:9-10).
- "Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless
and innocent, children of God above reproach
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you appear as lights in the world"
God is the potter, and He gives us the right to
choose whether we'll be molded by His word.
Are you clay in God's hands?
If you are, you're the work of God's hands,
and He's using you in the kingdom according to
His good pleasure.