God the Potter, II. Who are You, O Man?

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (Romans 9:19-21)

You have heard it said, “There is no such thing as a stupid question,” and that may well be true insofar as our human relationships go, but when we as humans come to God the Creator with our questions, we must have a different approach and do so by understanding who we are and who God is.

Our chief problem as a race is our original problem—we desire to ascend and place ourselves where God is, and we desire to make God as ourselves. Eve saw that the fruit was good to eat, but it was not till the serpent hissed, “You will be like God,” that she took she took the fruit and ate it. We have not deviated from this course since our first parents charted it, and as Voltaire rightly said, “God made man in his image, and man has ever since returned him the favor.”

We see ourselves as gods, and we look at the Almighty as though he were a man. The apostle, however, gives us a different picture in these verses, viz. that we are to God as a pot of clay is to a potter; we are dirt mixed with water formed and moved by the all powerful hands of a much more significant Being. In our relationship to the Infinite, I believe the picture of us as clay and as God as a potter gives us much more significance in relationship to Yahweh than is rightly due, which is to say in comparison to God our most generous estimation of worth is found in dirt.

What does this estimation of ourselves with respect to God make of our questions to him? It should shut our mouths and make us attentive listeners and learners of God’s Word and not judges over it. And it is this context in which we find some asking the questions, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” (v. 9:19). Paul, unlike many other times in his letters, does not give an answer or justification for the ways of God, but simply responds, “Who are you, O man, to answer back to God?” Who are we indeed! We are to God a mere lump of clay in the hand of him, the Potter, and we demand him to justify his ordinances? Our only proper response is to shut our mouths and prostrate ourselves before the Almighty.

Next: God the Potter, III. Vessels of Wrath

Categories: Fridy Night Bible Study

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4 replies

  1. I don't know which one to respond to, so I'll do both:)

    Matt, Matt. I'm not sure where to start as I'm smirking over my bible studies that seem to parallel with this latest blog post "God the Potter". Read 2 Samuel 7:1-17. This seems to fit perfectly with "Who are you, O Man? and then when you said "Our only proper response is to shut our mouths and prostrate ourselves before the Almighty", is what ended up happening to David in verse 18-21. I am in awe right now.



  2. Haha, sorry Krystale. My other site was a temporary solution (though I didn't know how temporary it was going to be). Thanks for being an assertive commenter.:) And thank you for sharing the text you have been reading. I love to see how Scripture meshes with each other though it was written by several humans. It demonstrates how Scripture really is God's Word.


  3. Our only proper response is to shut our mouths and prostrate ourselves before the Almighty.


    By the way, did you know you're beginning to sound like a Cal.vini.st? 😉


  4. @Nathan

    Heaven forbid.=P


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