Text: Isaiah 45:9-12
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ “This is what the Lord says—the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth, and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.”
Text: Isaiah 46:3-4
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
There are two kinds of dissatisfaction. One, God approves of; the other he does not. Dissatisfaction that God enjoys is the result of eagerness for the fulfillment of his Kingdom. Unfortunately, we often lose track of this and adopt instead a self-dissatisfaction based on lack of trust, and our God has no patience for it.
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands?’” (Isa. 45:9). Although many of the “woe” verses in the Old Testament contain curses on Israel’s enemies, this one is different. It does not contain a punishment from God. This verse merely says “Woe to him who. . . .”
Verse 9 describes the quarreler as a piece of broken pottery; which is generally useless. Our bodies are “broken” in relatively obvious ways, but even ordinary people are included in our passages today. Everyone is broken and useless to God because of sin. Asking “Why, God?” questions will begin a chain of depression for anyone, and the questioner brings it on himself.
Generally, someone who starts by asking “Why, God?” will eventually move on to dissatisfaction and questioning in family relationships (v.10). These questions are about subjects over which people hold no control. God is not under obligation to answer them (v. 11).
How often, when you question God about your body and your circumstances, is it because you believe that if things were different, you could avoid a current problem, or handle it “all by yourself”? As things are now, you need help, and you don’t like it. This attitude is silly, and sinful, because even in the Garden of Eden, Adam wasn’t self-sufficient. God created Eve to help Adam, and both people needed God to keep the creation intact.
Eventually, by his grace, your growing misery will goad you to lean on God, who has always had the solution to your insufficiency. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:3-4).
Lord, You see things so differently than we do. We are grateful that You see us through Your Son, Jesus. In the goodness of Your plan, You remain eager to support us. When our weaknesses make us falter, and we feel we cannot move at all, bring us quickly to prayer, so that even in our stillness we may work for You. Amen.
Heidi Dru Kortman DTM
God's gifts and call are irrevocable.
Heidi Dru Kortman, a CWG Apprentice graduate, ACFW member since 2004, and Word Weaver member has published devotionals in various newsletters, and a collected volume of devotionals. Her poetry, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in small magazines, and a website. She is applying herself to the task of writing smoothly polished fiction.