19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
In this passage Paul addresses an age old question – if everything in this life is controlled by God and His choosing, then how can we be blamed for anything we do. If God is in control, does it even matter what I choose to do?
Paul replies that is it arrogant of us to think that we know better than God. We may think it’s impossible for God to be in control of everything and at the same time to say that we are responsible for our choices. But just because we don’t understand how that can work, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
I like how the Message Bible puts it – “Who do you think you are to question God?”
Our 2-year-old grandson is currently challenging pretty much every directive that the adults in his life give him. He doesn’t want to do what he is told, even though the restrictions that we place on him are because we know certain things that he doesn’t.
How much greater is the disparity between what God knows and what we know? When I challenge God it not only shows my arrogance, but it also shows incredible ignorance to think that I might know better than He does.
God is the potter, and we are the clay. I may not always understand His ways, but there are no safer hands to place myself in.
Written by Shelley Witt