The Potters Purpose

January 30, 2014

Were You Created for Noble or Common Purposes?

Being Content with my Purpose

     I was reading my Bible this morning in Romans, specifically Romans 9:1-29. But what caught my attention was verses 18-24; 
18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

After reading this I got to thinking about a potter at the table with his clay. I know a few things about art, I paint and draw and have done a few other things.
So I know that an artist will create things that are beautiful, unique and sometimes weird.

Let's think about this a moment. 

The Bible specifically identifies only two vessels as pottery: earthen pitchers (Lamentations 4:2 ) and earthen bottles (Jeremiah 19:1 ), but an additional series of vessels probably came from the potter's workshop: “jar” for water (Genesis 24:14 NRSV); “pot” ( Exodus 16:3 ); “bowl” (Numbers 7:85 ); “bowl” (Judges 6:38 ); “vial” (1 Samuel 10:1 ); “cruse” for oil and “jar” for flour (1 Kings 17:14 NRSV); another type of “jar” ( 2 Kings 4:2 NRSV); “bowl” and “cup” (Song of Song of Solomon 7:2 ; Isaiah 22:24 ); “cup” (Isaiah 51:17 ,Isaiah 51:17,51:22 ); and “cup” and “pitcher” (Jeremiah 35:5 NRSV). Similar English words represent different Hebrew terms.*

Ok, so with this information we can see that the items made were jars, pots, bowls and cups...all for different purposes.

Some of those items {not specific to our text above} were inside kings palaces being used for noble purposes. Some of those items may have been set on a shelf and only used once or twice a year. Some of those items could have been gifts from the kings friends and just put on display somewhere within the palace. These items could have been painted very ornately, maybe even have jewels placed on them. The items in a kings palace would have been fancy, ornate, special and NOBLE!

this is a replica of an ornate oil lamp that was used in Bible times
an ornate water piture

But there were also cups, bowls and water pitchers made that were being used daily, sometimes 3 or more times a day. They may or may not have been painted but there were certainly no jewels on them. These items would be used by peasants, slaves, and just your average person. Those items were not very noble were they? Let's not even talk about chamber pots!! NOT NOBLE!! 

With these thoughts in mind, what kind of vessel would you want to be??

I pondered this while reading. Would I want to sit in the Kings house and just be looked at on occasion? I mean stop and think about how often you actually just look at that dusty vase on your top shelf in the kitchen. How often do you actually look at all the knick-knacks on your bookshelf??

Now think about how many times you pull out a favorite coffee cup? Do you have certain plates you use for supper every night? What about a jar you keep your sugar and things in??

Those items are looked at, touched, used, refilled all the time...sometimes daily. Those items may not hold the same sentimental value that an old dusty vase may have that your great grandma gave you years ago, but the things you use everyday hold a different value.
Without those items life would be a challenge. What would you put your coffee in each morning? You have to have a cup. What about your cereal or oatmeal??

You see, you need those items that have no noble purpose.

What about Jesus, what kind of vessels does He need? Well, He needs them all. He needs those for noble purposes, He needs the everyday worn and used vessels, but He also needs those chamber pots too! {sorry I couldn't help myself!} 

So back to my original thought....

I think I would rather be used by King Jesus daily, even if that purpose was not a noble one. I would want Jesus to pick me up, touch me, use me, refill me...not just pass by with a glance and think how pretty she looks sitting there on that shelf doing nothing to further My Kingdom.

I may not be the best vessel, I have had many cracks that He has had to mend. I have fallen and shattered to pieces, but He put me back on the Potters wheel and remade me. I do not have pretty jewels encrusted on me, nor beautiful ornate painting on my vessel, but I do have the Masters fingerprints all over me...

I am so very thankful for the purpose He has chosen for me....

just some plain ole clay pots


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