Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Potter and the Clay

Isaiah 45:9-11
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ "This is what the LORD says— the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?"


Comment

What is the work of God's hand which people complain about? In this particular application it's the fact that God was choosing a Gentile - Cyrus - to restore the Jews. The Jews never seemed to learn this lesson, for they continued to reckon Gentiles with contempt for years to come. Even Jesus own disciples looked down upon Gentiles. To humiliated the proud God choses the despised and those reckoned with contempt. Even to this day not only unbelieving Jews themselves but there are even groups of Jewish Christians who separate themselves from Gentile Christians setting up their own ethnic churches. But such was not the case in the early churches attended by both Jew and Gentile alike. Ephesians chapter 2 speaks of the reconciliation between Jew and Gentile making them one body in the Christian community. But even back in the restoration of Jerusalem God wanted the Gentiles to be involved.

So some people complain about the vessels God makes use of. Others complain about God's methods. They may complain as in the wilderness about the way he disciplines his people. Or today the unbelieving Jews while claiming association with God reject the New Covenant God provided through the blood of Christ. They don't have the humility to accept the gospel. They despise it partly because it is equally applicable to Jew and Gentile. But they despise Gentiles which becomes a stumbling block. So also the idea that they are not good enough to saved themselves by the Law is a humiliating idea. With an attitude of religious eliteness they spurn the grace of God.

What is God's response to such arrogance? Namely - who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do? True that God does not violate his own principles. He never sins, never lies and will never break his covenant. While in prayer there are legitimate questions we can ask of God, the attitude reflected here is one of condescension. It questions God's authority. It questions God's competence and it dishonors God by dishonoring His creation. God does not bow to being questioned with such contempt. From time to time I also receive emails in which the person pretends to be honestly seeking. But the content of their questions and remarks can only be categorized as mockery and contempt for God. I find that in the Bible God is not particularly patient with such people. Woe to him who quarrels with his maker.


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