God is the Potter
16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 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 is able to resist his will?” 20 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?’” 21 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?
We sometimes want to feel like we have control and want to say that “I did this” or “I did that”. We make our own decisions and we want to feel that we had a lot to do with the outcome. If things go our way, we want to take credit. If things do not go our way, we want to make an excuse or say that it was outside of our control. It is difficult to accept that something bad will happen to us and to be gracious about it and accept that disasters and calamity happen to both the good and the bad. It’s a part of life.
The Pharoah of Egypt was a powerful ruler who usually demanded his way or death. He challenged the God of Israel and would not let the Israelites go as he wanted the free labour and also to let them go will show the Egyptians that he is not as powerful as he claims to be. It would mean conceding and accepting that the God of the Israelites is way more powerful. The truth is that God is more powerful and was using Pharoah to demonstrate his power. The Bible already has the answers for the cynical and critical in that they may argue about why should we be blamed and who is able to resist his will. God states clearly that He is the potter and we are the clay. Shall we question God and argue why He made us this way? God has His reasons and since He is God and we are just the creation, we need to be able to accept our lot in life. Doesn’t sound very optimistic until you understand that God loves us and He created us to be a masterpiece.