Pastor Steve Ellison
One of the most puzzling assertions of man today is, “I just could not worship a god who would do this or that or this other thing.” That statement is foolish on its face. If a particular being is God, He must be worshiped. If a particular being is not God, he must not be worshiped. Any assertion resembling the one above indicates an attempt to declare oneself God, with the purpose of passing judgment on God. That hardly seems a wise idea. Attempting to instruct God as to His behavior is not a prudent decision. Isaiah 45:9-13 speaks to this issue, “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker — An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? 10 “Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?'” 11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands. 12 “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host. 13 “I have aroused him in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward,” says the Lord of hosts. (NASU)
The immediate context for these verses is the nation of Israel which had been and was continuing to be unfaithful, ungrateful, and disobedient to its Maker. Complaining and murmuring was the order of the day for God’s people. They seemed to want to change places with their Creator. They seemed to be attempting to sit in judgment over God. The creature which did not understand what the Creator had already done, could not see what He was doing in the present, and could not discern what God was going to do, thought he could instruct the Creator. Verse 13 does not state it directly, but the previous chapter introduces Cyrus, the Medo-Persian, who would eventually be referred to as Cyrus the Great. God had already indicated that He would in the future raise up Cyrus to accomplish His purposes in setting Israel free from Babylonian captivity. Israel was beyond arrogant even to question God’s choice of using a Gentile ruler to rescue them.
It seems to me that it is not out-of-bounds to make application of this passage to us as individuals. We are not in captivity to a foreign nation but many of us are in captivity to idolatry and other sins. No matter what our circumstances are, we are in no position to critique God’s dealings with us. If I criticize my Maker, that makes even less sense than the clay pot criticizing the potter. I should not dare to ask the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, “What are you doing?” He made me and sustains me. He created the universe and set it into motion with uniform natural laws to govern it. God created me, not vice versa. God will judge me, not vice versa. I must align my thinking to His, not vice versa. He questions my behavior, not vice versa. His law guides me, not vice versa. He critiques my work, not vice versa. He will rescue me, not vice versa. He has chosen the method of rescue: grace through faith in Jesus alone. I cannot critique His choice.