Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Potter's Molding Hands

Pottery making is one of the oldest crafts of civilized man. It should not surprise us then that God uses the illustration of the potter and the clay to demonstrate his power in the destinies of men. Like clay, we are made from the dust of the earth. With his hands God formed the first man, Adam. God chose to breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. God beamed with pride as he looked at Adam and all that he created, and it was very good.

And then came Jacob, whose name means supplanter. He was more deceptive than an advertisement touting before and after photos. He used his cunning tactics to purchase his firstborn brother’s (Esau’s) birthright for the paltry sum of a pot of stew. Back in those days the firstborn’s birthright was quite valuable. It consisted of a double portion of the father’s inheritance, but for Jacob as one of three main patriarchs it meant so much more. For him the birthright embraced chieftainship, rule over the entire family, and the title of the blessing of promise (Genesis 27:4, 27-29). This promise included future possession of Canaan and of covenant fellowship with Jehovah God.

Even though Jacob lived up to his namesake, God said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). This astounds me to no end. Why would God want to be closely associated with liars and deceivers? Author Cecil Murphey put this question in proper perspective when he said, “If I can figure out a reason for God's love, I have the wrong answer.”

But even though Jacob was chosen to rule with God over the nation of Israel, the truth remains that God wants to spend time alone with you and me just as much as he wanted to spend time with Jacob. It doesn’t matter if we rule a nation or just a little house in Georgia, like I do. God loves us and wants a vibrant and growing relationship with each and every one of us. He so wants to speak to us and give us new life. Now that’s nothing short of amazing grace!

Although, most of the time we don’t choose to get alone with God until things get hairy. My grandfather had a saying about those who get into trouble, he said, “She’s done spread her potatoes and got her pan burnt.” We spread our potatoes and when things get burned and Jesus shows up, we wrestle all night long saying things like, “Why am I praying for my addicted loved one when nothing seems to change?” “Why does my child have to suffer with this horrible disease?” Why does every one in the family have to argue about how to care for our Alzheimer’s patient parent? You get the picture. Fill in the blank—“Why___________ ?”

If we would just take some time to spend with Jesus allowing him to mold us as he sees fit, he would answer our questions his way (many times with a question—“Why do you ask my name?” see Jacob's molding in Genesis 32:22-32). He wants us to hold on tight and listen so he can bless us there (Genesis 32:26 & 29).

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