Jul 25, 2010
I am a cracked pot... broken, but still useful
Did you know that pottery and pottery-related concepts are fairly prevalent in the Bible? I'm sure it's because the writers of the Bible simple wrote about what they knew... and during that time, pottery was important. From cooking to collecting water, you couldn't do much without pots and jugs, and most if not all of those things were created out of clay (no fancy metal pots for those guys).
Last night I heard a sermon that included this scripture: Hebrews 10:22 "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
My pastor explained that word "sincere" was related to pottery, as in, "without wax" or having no cracks. If you have ever attempted to make anything out of clay, you might know that if you don't get every single air pocket out of the clay before you form it, when you go to put it in the kiln to fire it, the clay will crack as the air in the pocket expands.
Apparently this was also a common problem way back in the day, however, rather than throw away a cracked pot, the maker would simple seal the crack with wax. A pot with no cracks was called "sincere", and was more valuable because a "sincere" pot could be used to cook, while one with cracks could not be used with heat.
I bring you this FASCINATING lesson on ancient pottery free of charge, with no strings attached. Now, from my early teens, I have found that pottery-related analogies in scripture have always resonated with me, I'm not entirely sure why. Some of my favorite:
2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."
We are the jars of clay... fragile, not much to look at, but look at what promises we hold!
Romans 9:20-21 "But 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?' "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?"
God is the potter, I am the clay. He made me for a purpose... whether noble or common use...
Isaiah 29:15-16 "Woe to those who go to great depths
to hide their plans from the LORD,
who do their work in darkness and think,
"Who sees us? Who will know?"
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"?"
I'm sure my fascination comes from my obsession with God as a Creator.
I am one of His creations, one of His masterpieces... so are YOU.
Psalm 31:11-12 "Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery."
Broken pottery... useless, worthless. But God can make even a worthless piece of broken pottery something useful. This is a scripture that I love because in the depths of depression (as a teen), I felt this exact way, and finding it written out in honest words helped me draw near to Him with a sincere faith.
From one cracked pot to another: lucky for you, our God is a MASTER Potter! I know He can fix any imperfection and refine us in the fire. Because of that truth, I have hope.