The Sovereign Potter

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 9:19-26

Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? (v. 21)

I have frequently visited Greenfield Village in Detroit, a “living museum” that recreates colonial times. I have always been fascinated with the potter’s wheel. The artisan takes a lump of brown clay and shapes it into a host of different vessels-each one according to his or her will.

Comparing God to a potter is common in Scripture (Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jeremiah 18:1-10). God works with us to shape us into who we are today. He is the potter; we are the clay.

It is true that some pottery vessels become ugly or broken and need to be discarded. Did God then make some people only to destroy them? Not at all; toward such people God shows incredible patience, and his kindness is intended to lead to repentance (Romans 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9).

In Romans 9:25-26 Paul quotes from Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 to demonstrate this goal of God’s mercy. The Lord wants those who are rebellious to become his people, his loved ones-children of the living God. He wants you to be one of his beloved children. He is waiting for you to respond today.


God, you are the potter. Mold me and make me after your will, to be your beloved child. Amen.