Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
"Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'The potter has no hands'?
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall like the best of the rams. [^6]
Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent "lips with an evil heart.
"Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" [^8]
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
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.
How the precious children of Zion, once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter's hands!