July 21 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 64-66 and Psalms 21

Isaiah 64:8 reads, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Here then is one of the most wonderful images in the whole of the Bible. Not only does Isaiah identify God as “Father”, which is a New Testament term for God, but he sees the Father as a potter at his wheel, shaping a lump of clay – shaping a person – building a people of God. I’ve tried making pottery at the wheel a couple of times in my life, and have discovered that it’s not nearly as easy as it looks. When things are not turning out the way the potter wants, he scrapes the clay off the wheel, adds a bit of water, mashes it up and slams the clay back on the spinning wheel to start over. He uses his hands, sometimes firmly and other times in the most delicate way to encourage certain shapes and characteristics out of the clay. If there is a pebble in the project, he picks it out and begins again. I don’t know about you but at times I can really relate to the clay. The phrase “God’s not finished with me yet” seems very appropriate when you feel yourself being dumped on His “wheel” once again.

Isaiah also gives us glimpses of the end-times in these verses – “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17) See how well this passage dovetails with New Testament prophecy:

– Matthew 24:35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

– 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

– Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

Let there be no doubt in our minds – the present world and heavens will disappear – all that mankind has pinned its hopes on will disappear, because God alone is the One who sustains all things. I’m sometimes very concerned about the numbers of films that are produced, depicting an invasion of some sort from another world. Inevitably, the invaders are hideous, evil beings or machines that mankind has to rally heroically to defeat. The trouble I have with all this is that the only “other worldly thing” that’s going to invade the earth is Our Lord Jesus Christ! – He is returning to Earth as a conquering King – the nations WILL gather together to fight against Him and you and I will be on the Kings side! Then, in due time, the present heavens and Earth will be destroyed, making room for the new. Keep in mind – this is not something we need to fear – it’s something we need to fully embrace. Do you see how Earth’s inhabitants are already being programmed to fight the great Armageddon? – Against Christ?

Questions:

1. Tell about a time when God “the potter” had to start over with you while molding some area of your life.
2. Reflect on what daily activities we should be involved in to keep us ready for the second coming of the Lord.