Todays readings.. Joshua 23&24, Isaiah 29, Hebrews 12


A number of times in the Old Testament (especially Jeremiah 18 & 19) God is described as a potter.  God shapes and makes all that exists, he is the Creator.  In Isaiah today (Ch. 29) we have an intriguing mix of Divine messages.  Isaiah lives in a environment similar to ourselves and his message to the people is, “You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say to its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” [v.16]

Today, especially in recent years, most people seem determined to deny that a Creator exists, especially in “educated” countries. God’s methods in creation are totally beyond human comprehension, but all that the scientists have been doing is examining the nuts and the bolts, they are blind to the whole picture.  It is tragic, because these human attitudes are a denial of the power of the Holy Spirit, a blasphemy for which there is no forgiveness (Matt. 12 v.31, 32).

     Those who regard “the potter“ as non-existent, are those “whose deeds are in the dark, and who say”, as Isaiah records,  “Who sees us?  Who knows us?” [v.15]   But those who read the Bible and reflect carefully about what they read are not in the dark!  The more they read, the brighter becomes the light!

Our chapter 29  today also contains a vision of the last days!  It gives us “Ariel” as a code name for Jerusalem, “the city where David encamped” [v.1] 

With heart-felt awe we read that “in an instant, suddenly, you will be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and a great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.”  An utterly awesome ‘picture.’ [v.5,6]

But what a vision of the future then unfolds!    “And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel (Jerusalem), all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her, shall be like a dream, a vision of the night … so shall all the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mt. Zion.” [v.5-8]. 

There is no event in past history that fits the scene described here. In v.11 we read, “the vision of all this has become like the words of a book that is sealed”.  Is the unsealing about to occur? 

Read Daniel 12 v.4,9-11 and keep our eyes open to understand what the potter is about to do or we will become “clay” ourselves – and never “see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God” – as we will read this week in Isaiah 35 – of the time when “a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice.” [v.1] 

We are in awe of who will be elevated to be among the princes. – we remember how the disciples were told, “you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matt. 19 v.28]

Finally, Isaiah 40 ends with this wonderful description of what some of “the clay” will become!  We read “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” 

What will “the potter” do to “the claythat has told the “the potter” you “did not make me”? Tomorrow’s ch. 30 in Isaiah gives us the answer. “because you despise this word” you will be like “a potter’s vessel, that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found.” [v.14]