Timeless truths about clay pots. Romans 9 makes it clear that God is the potter and we are the clay. Yet even clay can be unresponsive, unyielding to the Potter’s hand! Paul’s illustration is similar to Jeremiah 18-19. God instructs Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house and observe him. The potter is forming a vessel but the clay is uncooperative. So the potter makes it into another jar as it pleased the potter. Then the Lord declares His sovereignty over the nations!! God says that if the people will repent, He will spare them. That is exactly what happened with the Ninevites!
Israel refused to listen to God’s warning. Why? Because of their fatalistic mentality which led to a continuation in their rebellion. God encouraged them to turn from their evil ways and experience forgiveness. But the Lord revealed their mentality, “They will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans…” Is God sovereign? ABSOLUTELY! In His sovereignty does God give man room to repent? ABSOLUTELY! However, that does not mean that you are a piece of clay that has no ability to choose how you will respond to the potter. That leads to fatalism. Just as the clay resisted the potter, you can resist God. Just as the resistant clay was remade by the potter, God is sovereign in what He will do with us – but that is based on HOW we respond to Him!
“However, if that nation I have made an announcement about turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it. At another time I announce that I will build and plant a nation or a kingdom. However, if it does what is evil in My sight by not listening to My voice, I will relent concerning the good I had said I would do to it. So now, say to the men of Judah and to the residents of Jerusalem: This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring harm to you and make plans against you. Turn now, each from your evil way, and correct your ways and your deeds. But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless. We will continue to follow our plans, and each of us will continue to act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ ”” Jeremiah 18:8-12 HCSB