45:7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
8 “Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9 “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
We are back tracking a bit today. We need to connect yesterday's passage to the day before and get a more complete picture. Two days ago we talked about God creating calamity by withdrawing His peace and protection.
Those thoughts immediately precede the flood waters of righteousness in verse 8 which is followed by a warning to not question the Potter in verse 9.
First let's note the unmistakable flood language in verse 8. Water from above and water springing up from within the earth is exactly what the Bible describes in Genesis when God literally flooded the world. That flood was God's doing and certainly qualifies as a calamity. Many have questioned that event. How could a loving God do such a horrible thing?
Again let's think about this. Things were bad in Judah. God was going to intervene. Then He was questioned for how He did it.
When things are bad we doubt Him. Why doesn't He do something?! Then when He does something we doubt Him because it isn't what we would have done or how we would have done it. I mean seriously, an idol worshipping heathen foreigner as our deliver? (Cyrus).
Ok let's review this one more time from our perspective and for our time. Recently (ish) I had a friend who desperately needed surgery. She was in constant pain. She was on a waiting list for months. Shortly before it was time for the surgical intervention that would bring her the relief she so desperately wanted she cancelled it. Why? Fear. The path to relief was a calamity she couldn't face and she backed out.
We are living under the ravages of sin. The effects are all around us and in us. We need deliverance from the sin around us and surgery to remove the sin in us.
The rains came from without and within. There was an external cleansing and an internal one.
The flood of Genesis was not a work of destruction. It was a radical surgery to preserve righteousness in the earth. No one died who wasn't dead already. If any hope for them remained He would have surely rescued them. Is it wise to question the Potter who both made the clay and knows what to do with it? Are we wiser or more loving than God?
When we pray for relief from the ravages of sin and things seem to get worse have we considered that the "worse" is the beginning of the better?
Do we trust Him or don't we? Do we really believe He is God or don't we? Are His plans for us good? Do we truly believe it?
There is a path Home. It is narrow. Very narrow. His name is Jesus. No one comes to the Father but by Him and His path contained calamity. He was flooded with grief and pain on a level we will never reach thanks to Him. It all resulted in our deliverance and ultimately will produce perfect righteousness both without and within. There will be surgeries. We will feel at times as though we are drowning. We will question the Potter. We will pray with bitter tears "Father if it is possible let this cup pass from me..."
Drink the cup. Don't cancel the surgery. We're going Home. Our Father knows what He is doing.