In the context of it we see here in Romans that there was conflict between the Jews and Gentiles. Some still had the notion that only Jews could be saved. Others said that Gentiles who were saved had to keep the Jewish law to continue in Christianity. Paul explained there is no difference in the Jews and the Gentiles. We all have sinned and can all be saved by grace through faith. He said hath not the potter power over his clay?
Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
What a question in verse 21. There are more questions in other verses that are common throughout life. Verse 19 says Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? We don’t tell God what he can and cannot do. We might say I wouldn’t talk back to God, but that’s easy to do when things don’t go our way. When things don’t come together as we think they should we’re tempted to talk back. Paul reminded us we’re only clay and have no right to question the Lord. God is always good. He’s always right. The potter always has power over the clay. We waste time trying to sway God like a lawyer or a debater would do. We don’t debate with God. We have no power over him. In Jeremiah 18 we find these words.
The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 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. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house; he was to receive a message from God for Israel. There is no better illustration of a person’s relationship with God than a potter and his clay. Jeremiah watched the potter take dirt and start working. We are nothing but dirt and water. God took our basic elements, breathed into us the breath of life and we became a living soul. The potter takes the dirt, adds some water, and starts working it on the wheel. Without God we are nothing but dirt. On its own dirt does nothing. Life can’t happen without water. That’s why the earth is as it is. God separated the land and water. Then he gathered some dust and framed man. On the wheel, the hand of the potter goes to work and his skill creates something. When the clay gets marred he reworks it. The vessel is made again. He doesn’t throw it away. We must be born again. Talk about a makeover! Don’t get mad at God if he doesn’t do what you want. He’s the potter.
When we get marred, we should go to the Lord. He has already seen it but go ahead and ask him to remake you. Stay on the potter’s wheel until God is ready to take you off. He makes no mistakes. He can fix a crack so that it doesn’t leak. Weakness in your vessel? Don’t talk and worry about them. You have the same potter as the rest of us. Go to God. Then be satisfied with what God makes of you. God made us all to serve him.
Has the potter power over the clay? We must say YES! When the dents and dings come, submit them to God and he’ll take care of the rest. The important thing is to be in God’s hand, on his wheel. We can always be a vessel of honor to God.