If you were a God who wanted to wake people up, who would you send to do that job? John came as a voice. John was a High Priest and a prophet. Humble servants, teachers, and ministers of His Word are not just born equipped. They are thrown on His wheel.
Then I (Jeremiah) went down to the potter’s house, and there he was making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:2-4.)
Soft clay can be smacked and thrown down on the potter’s wheel and reshaped. Once the pot is fired, we have a whole different story. The Holy One told Jeremiah that He knew him before He placed him in the womb and called him to be a prophet to the nations, but Jeremiah was built. If you are unsure of what I am trying to articulate, read Lamentations.
Jeremiah said, “Your mercies are made new each morning,” but what was the prophet saying before all this? He was talking to a people who had not been obedient and had gone whoring. Jeremiah may have been describing the curses that had overtaken God’s people due to their lack of keeping His Sabbaths and His Commandments. He was weeping for the Bride. The Book of Lamentations is read on the 9th of Av. It begins with the Hebrew word Eicha which means “how?” It is a prophetic response to the destruction of the temple in 586 B.C.E. We also our temples, that at times, must destruct so that the Creator can breathe new life into us.
“He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me, and left me without help. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink.
He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is” (Lamentations 3:8-17).
If we are a son or a daughter, He will correct us and shape us on His Potter’s wheel.
Who is man to think that he is the one who can form the clay?
“Will the pot contend with the potter or the earthenware with the hand that shapes it? Will the clay ask the potter what he is making? or his handiwork say to him, “You have no skill”? (Isaiah 45:9, NEB)
Our Jesus/ Yeshua was placed on that wheel.
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
How are Abba’s servants built? They are thrown on the potter’s wheel. Prophets usually have not met anyone they cannot relate to. Most of them have been through just about everything you can think of. Have you ever noticed that Elijah arrives on the scene, and we read nothing about his background? He boldly confronts kings and commands the sky to stay shut, and slaughters over 400 false prophets of Baal. How does one get such tenacity? Not by being pampered and coddled.
Prophets were fearful of the call. They said things like, “I can’t speak. I’m too young. I am the least in my Father’s house. I am a fig farmer. I stutter. They knew where prophets went. It was usually to oppose a priest—a king—a wicked leader with a booming voice from Adonai and then off to the prison, death, a cave, a lion’s den, a head on a platter. They were built to confront those no one else wanted to confront. A stiff-necked people. An Ahab. A Jezebel. A Saul who had not slain the wicked king he was ordered to kill.
The Father speaks: Tell my servant David, who carried a giant’s head on a pole, that he is the man full of sin, Nathan. Fast for 40 days and climb a mountain only to go back again because the people have been in idolatry and have been worshipping a calf and cry out for me to spare those same people who said, “Where is this Moses?” Yes, this Moses, whose staff parted the sea. This Moses who cried out for their very lives. This Moses, who was fashioned in the desert away from his family and home on the Potter’s wheel.
The burden of the word of the Lord Adonai—that’s how the prophets began their letters. It is a burden to feel what the Father feels. It is a burden to see what the Father sees.
How do you build a man or woman with no regard for whether people will like the sound of the words they use? How do you build a person who doesn’t care if you never speak to them again?
Possibly the Potter wants such a person to be shunned by those esteemed. The ones in the critical circles. How does the Holy One build and shape a vessel that will speak what He tells them to speak even if their closest friends and companions walk away? You cause them to be loved by people they love with so much love it bubbles up inside their soul, and then you have those same people reject them, crush them, defame their character, and trust. You bring people across their path that are so precious to them, and you turn those same confidants into barking dogs that bite and snarl and growl at the messenger or give them a Judas kiss. Their words are twisted—they looked for ways to catch Yeshua in sin. They watched him like a spider. They accused him of casting out demons by the prince of demons.
“They watched him closely in an effort to trap him in something he might say” (Luke 11:54 ISV).
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-24 NASB).
How do you build something that has no concern for money? No regard for titles? No affection for the esteem of man? You strip them of everything they own. You cause them to live by a brook and let ravens feed them. You send them to a widow with a few drops of oil and a handful of flour. You leave them naked and bare, and they see all the material as refuse worthless. Mother Teresa could not be bought—she had her eyes on a different prize. The apostles could not be bought. Saints do not look to store up treasures here that can bring no joy. Junk, you have to dust and worry about thieves stealing. Titles that only bring esteem from men.
How do you build someone who has more compassion for the sick than most? A person who will fast and pray and believe with someone suffering horribly? You give them sores all over their body as they scrape the discharge with some broken pottery. You blind them for three days. You give them a thorn in their flesh, a hip out of socket, a barren womb, and a taste of suffering that most cannot imagine.
When I first came out of an attack on my health and retired my cane, I sat outside a big meeting one night—a meeting where the megachurch parking lot filled up and any person coming in who was in a wheelchair, walker, or using a cane, I asked if I could pray for them. I cried with them. I knew what it was like to be sick unto death. I would have never had that compassion if I had not gone through it.
How do you build someone with grief for sin that causes them to weep when they see things out of order? Most of the people I know who have been forgiven much love much. When we see men and women lusting after fleshpots that we used to partake of, and our heart doesn’t want to point a finger but instead grabs a cloak and covers their nakedness and cries out for their soul to be healed.
Moses looked at his sister, who had slandered him, and “Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” (Numbers 12:13 NASB).
Awe, the Potter’s wheel.
When the Father speaks to me and humbles me, it is usually through people that I overlooked or thought “unimportant,” A person I judged by their titles or lack of them. Have you ever had the Father make you feel the way Jeremiah felt above?
He said he was made a laughing stock—mocked.
I write these following words not for pity—not for prayer, although I’ll take any I can get, but to show you something.
How do you make a marriage become so one in the Spirit that you both think and act and speak the same? Most every night, my husband prays with me—many mornings as well, but at night he lays his hand on my stomach that refuses to work in divine order due to gastroparesis, and he speaks life over it. He watches it blow up like a balloon, and he sees my tears, and with those same tears he knocks, he asks, he is persistent like the widow who went before the unjust judge, and like Moses, he cries, “Heal my wife!” One night as he prayed, I thought of all the healthy and unhealthy wives who had never heard such compassion from their husbands. I thought about how loved I am. How our very marriage has been placed on the Potter’s wheel for such a time as this, and every trial, every valley of darkness has brought us closer. For some, it causes bitterness and division. My husband waited twelve years for me. Every year he prayed for a wife and waited. He went on a few dates because he did not feel they were the ones. In the twelfth year, a woman at his assembly said, “Jeff the Father just showed me a field with beautiful flowers and there the sun was shining down on a blondish brown haired woman that the Father is “molding” for you.” Eve or Chavah was fashioned and constructed from the side of Adam. The Father was shaping me into a wife for my husband.
The Holy One is shaping you into just the right vessel for His use. It hurts at times to be smashed and remolded into shape, thrown on the wheel, and placed into a fiery pit, but in the end, He will fashion us into a vessel He sees fit to use.
“But now, Hashem, Thou art Avinu (Our Father); we are the chomer (clay), and Thou, Yotzreinu (our Potter, Maker, Creator); and we all are the ma’aseh (work) of Thy yad (hand.)” Isaiah 64:8 OJB.”