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Are You Clay in God's Hands
Bible study on obedience.

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 the clay.

We are the Work of God's Hands Through His Word
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 God's hand.

  • "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" (Is. 64:8).

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. 55:8-9).

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 pleasure.

  • "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. 2:12-13).

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. 45:9).

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" (Phil. 2:14-15).

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.