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The Clay - revisted

Have you ever really noticed how much the Bible talks about clay?

Job 10:9; 'Remember now, that You have made me as clay; And would You turn me into dust again?
Job 33:6; "Behold, I belong to God like you; I too have been formed out of the clay.
Rom 9:21; 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?
Lam 4:2; The precious sons of Zion, Weighed against fine gold, How they are regarded as earthen jars, The work of a potter's hands!

Of course it is these verses in Isaiah and Jeremiah most people think of when we talk about clay.

Isa 29:16 You turn things around! 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"?

Isa 41:25 "I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, Even as the potter treads clay."

Isa 45:9 "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'?

Isa 64:8 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.

Jer 18:4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Jer 18:6 "Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.

Have you ever watch pottery being made? It's quite an involved process. I'm no expert, but I did have a chance to some experts a while back. Where does clay come from? It's just found in the earth, in some places it's easy to dig up. But if it's near the surface, it's almost always sun-baked and hard. Even if you have to dig a little to get to it, it's full of rocks and sand and other impurities. So how does the potter make it soft?

LOL.... well to start with it... he pounds it and beats. With metal hammers and then with wooden hammers.
After a little while it will start getting pliable enough to mold with your hands.

Have you ever felt like life was pounding on you? Have you ever been so hard and "sun-baked" that nothing ever fazed you. You were set in your ways and nothing could change you. My wind is made up and it's going to stay made up. Sometimes it takes a little pounding from life to soften us up.

The more the clay is folded and beaten, the softer it gets, also a lot of impurities... rocks and sand start falling out and it become more and more a pure clay. I think sometimes God must have some pretty strong hands... and a lot of patience. At least with me. I was some pretty hard clay.

Once the clay stats getting fairly clear of most of the impurities... the potter puts it on a wheel and and starts spinning it. You ever felt like life was whizzing by so fast it made you dizzy? Have you ever had trouble keeping your balance so to speak... not necessarily your physical equilibrium, but just a balance if your life.

Maybe God was working on you in those times.
Now the clay is starting to get moldable, and pliable... the potter does something else.
He adds water.

The Bible often speaks of a certain kind of water.

John 4:13; Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;
John 4:14; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
John 6:35; Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Have you ever noticed the Bible speaks of the Spirit like water... perhaps filling an earthen vessel.

Acts 13:52; And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Eph 5:18; And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

Once the water gets mixed in with the clay... the potter can start doing some amazing things. The potter can really start shaping it an molding it into the image He wants it to be. We are all the same... but at the same time we are all unique. God made you the same as everyone else... but He also made made you uniquely different from everyone else. The pot can't hold the water yet. It's just poured on it to make it softer and help purify it even more.

it's an amazing thing to watch a lump of clay get turned into a beautiful pot, or vase, or lamp... or whatever the potter wants to make. Now that the potter has the clay shaped the way He wants it... guess what He does next?

If getting beaten up wasn't bad enough, and then getting spin around wasn't enough... now you get thrown into the fire. Some pots don't handle the fire very well. Some shatter in the fire.

Do you think God ever lets us be in the fire of life sometimes? Sometimes we are tested by fire.

1 Pet 1:7; so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

A clay pot is not fit to hold water until it has been "fired". Fire seals up all the little holes makes the pot water tight. It seems I know a lot of clay pots that are trying to hold water... but some of them aren't very good at it.

Now while the clay should be soft and pliable while the potter is forming it... it is supposed to get hard and rigid once it has been in the fire. Every wave of doctrine should NOT be able reform us back into clay. We should be a good enough pot or planter to hold the water (or oil) we were given.

Eph 4:14; As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Once a pot is formed... it should not let the world try to change it into something else. Something it was never meant to be.
I have lots of clay soil at home :)

But its genesis 2:7 when God made adam that reminds me of clay. Some bible translations say dust, one says slime!

Well clay without water is dust I suppose.
Its like flour and water make dough. But we arent gingerbread men.

I was reading an essay by an emeritus professor at some university writing about humans, and he had this strange idea that humans ancestors were...apes. He then had this theory that humans somehow evolved from apes who had climbed down from trees, moved out of africa and started to learn how to cook. Just to be different from other animals. Lol

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