God Can Make You Whole
New International Version (NIV)
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
11 “Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’
The text speaks to us an allegory that God is like a potter. A very clear statement given to understand who God is.
I. What does the potter do?
♦He makes pots out of the clay
It’s interesting that not just soil but a clay which is one of the five types of soil. To mention the types of soil, we have
4. Saline Soil
Clay soil has the smallest particles among the three (sandy, silty and clay) so it has good water storage qualities. It’s sticky to the touch when wet, but smooth when dry.
Due to the tiny size of its particles and its tendency to settle together, little air passes through its spaces. Because it’s also slower to drain, it has a tighter hold on plant nutrients. Clay soil is thus rich in plant food for better growth.
Clay soil is cold and in the spring, takes time to warm since the water within also has to warm up. The downside is that clay soil could be very heavy to work with when it gets dry. Especially during the summer months, it could turn hard and compact, making it difficult to turn. (When clay soil is worked while it’s too wet though, it’s prone to damage).
If moistened soil feels sticky, rolls up easily, and forms into a ball or sausage-like shape, then you’ve got yourself clay. (by Leineriza, author of 5 Different Soil Types)
So you can imagine that clay is one of the best soils that provide plant food for better growth. And for other purposes like the pot, clay is sticky when wet, but smooth, hard and compact when dried.
♦He makes the broken pots new, just like the original with no breakage
Jeremiah says, “So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him”.
It’s great to see the potter’s ingenuity and ability to form and transform a marred pot into a genuine one. Meaning, from that the same material he used he can re-invent it, re-shape it into another pot when accidentally hit, fell, banged and happened to have breakage. Not just patches but really a new one, firm and strong as intended it to be.
II. God the potter?
He is our creator, the originator of our lives. I firmly believe that this is the best explanations of human existence.
Science has provided one picture of how everything came to existence but I can’t find life’s meaning in the “big bang theory“. Everything just came by an accident including humans and other living organisms.
We were taught through the Holy Scriptures that a Supreme Being has intentionally created every living and non-living things with a purpose. God’s creation is perfect including humans and therefore they are perfect according to his design.
However, God has given humans the free will. They can think freely, decide freely and act freely. God has imparted his communicable attributes and so humans are good, righteous, loving, merciful, and just, just as God.
We are broken into pieces
The only problem was the attributes God has imparted to us had been marred by sin. Human has learned to abuse, learned to hate, learned not to be good, not to be righteous, and merciless.
Life had been torn into pieces and human can no longer recover from its bankruptcy. These had given heavy burdens and sorrows in life.
Our lives have been shattered and it wrought havoc in our relationships. Human against human, human against other creations
There are times we suffer loneliness, we feel empty, we run our lives aimlessly, we find no meaning in our being. Surely we needed something beyond ourselves to fill the gaps, we needed to be restored from brokenness.
III. God can make you whole
He can restore you from your own brokenness. “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does? “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Declares the Lord(v6).
God can remold you just like the broken pot. He makes a new being from your shattered lives. From an unworthy person, God can recreate a worthy individual.
Illustration—The Need for Brokenness
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden. The Master of the garden expressed great pride in his plants. But he reserved a special place near his heart for the beloved bamboo tree.
One day the master went to the bamboo and said, “Bamboo, I would use you.” The bamboo was overjoyed, in his master’s words, all his hopes, aspirations, and dreams became flesh. Drawing himself to his full height, he replied, “Master, I am ready, use me.” Bamboo, the Master continued, “in order to use you, I must cut you down.” Cut me down? “Use me Master, but please don’t cut me down.” Bamboo, explained the Master, “unless I cut you down, I cannot use you.” The Master continued, “in order to use you, I must also strip your leaves and branches from you.” Please, No! Bamboo exclaimed. “Cut me down, but please don’t deprive me of my adornment.” I can’t use you unless I do, replied the Master. “Then do it”, Bamboo said. The Master continued, Bamboo, “if I use you, I must also divide you in half and cut out your heart. Very submissive now, Bamboo only nodded his head.
So the Master cut down Bamboo, stripped his branches and leaves and cut out his heart. Then he took him to a very dry place in his field where a spring of cold, sparkling water bubbled up out of the ground. He laid one end of Bamboo into the pool and the other end into the water channel in his field. Soon, water gurgled along the Bamboo into the thirsty field. The days came and went, the rice was planted and grew, and finally the harvest came. Only then did once glorious Bamboo realized that his Master could only use him when he was broken. But then he became a channel of life to his Master’s world. (Merrill Williams)
From your brokenness, God will break you again in order to mold you, re-shape you, use you again according to his will. No sin can hinder God’s power to make you a whole person.
God is our originator and he imparted us his communicable attributes. God can make the vilest sinner clean and whole so we can do it as God has exemplified. We can forgive, we give opportunities to erring friends and individuals. We can be instruments for the restoration of broken people. God’s empowering attribute enables us to follow how and what he thinks.
It’s enlightening and empowering to see, experience, and live upon God’s attributes making the broken individuals whole, restoring splattered organizations into a harmonious one, mending shattered nations into a nation of hope, peace, and home of political, economic, and spiritual stability.
These are God’s attributes he taught to our forefathers and he is teaching it to every generation. How awesome is our God! In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.