March 25

You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay? Shall the thing made say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, “He has no understanding”? Isaiah 29:16 

All of you must clothe yourselves with humility. I Peter 5:5

When I first read this verse from Isaiah, I thought it referred to the work of God, turning things upside down with new revelations and new ways of thinking. Then I realized it was not Isaiah speaking, but rather God who was speaking through him and saying the people had turned things upside down from what they should be. Things turned upside down, that may be how many of us are feeling these days. In our case it is the precautions we are taking to keep the spread of disease under control.  Staying home, keeping apart from people when we do go out to shop or take a walk are certainly different. For Isaiah, however, this turning upside down has occurred among God’s people.  He relays God’s message:  The people have turned upside down the ways things really are.  God is the potter and the people are the clay which He molded into His creations. Yet, many people are acting as though they are the ones in charge.

In Romans 9:20 we read: 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?’” quoting from Isaiah. Paul does not mean we can’t question God, or even express some anger, but rather to those who want to make God answerable to humans.  Just like the clay pot can’t say to the potter that he has no understanding, we too need to be humble and realize that God does understand us.

In I Peter we also see an admonition to be humble. One text note says the reference to clothing oneself with humility may refer to the foot washing scene in which Peter figured prominently. Peter at first was rebellious and full of pride; then he realized that Jesus was actually humble and expected humbleness from His disciples. Now he understands that one group of people is not above another, and none are to place themselves above God.

God is the potter, the Creator, and we are the clay, the created. God is in control and we “merely” need to trust in His mercy and grace. No matter how crazy and upside down our world appears to be, we still can serve each other and be humble before our God.

Thank you, Maker of all things, for creating us to forever be your servants. Forgive us for past and future times when our pride overshadows any humility. Help us to remember always that you are in control. You are our potter. We praise you for forming us into your unique children whom you love immeasurably. Humble Master, there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. Therefore, take away our pride and false securities so that we may humbly trust in your guidance and care. Shape us into who you would have us be. In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Chris Gabel