But, now, O Lord, thou art our Father "But thou, O Jehovah, thou art our Father" - For ועתה veattah, and now, five MSS., one of them ancient, and the two oldest editions, 1486 and 1488, have ואתה veattah, and thou, and so the Chaldee seems to have read. The repetition has great force. The other word may be well spared. "But now, O Lord, thou art our Father." How very affectionate is the complaint in this and the following verses! But how does the distress increase, when they recollect the desolations of the temple, and ruin of public worship, Isaiah 64:11; : "Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burnt up with fire," etc.
We all are the work of thy hand - Three MSS. (two of them ancient) and the Septuagint read מעשה maaseh, the work, without the conjunction ו vau prefixed. And for ידך yadecha, thy hand, the Bodleian, and two others MSS., the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read ידיך yadeycha, thy hands, in the plural number. - L.
But now, O Lord, thou art our Father - (See the notes at Isaiah 63:16).
We are the clay - The idea seems to be, that their condition then had been produced by him as clay is moulded by the potter, and that they were to be returned and restored entirely by him - as they had no more power to do it than the clay had to shape itself. The sense is, that they were wholly in his hand and at his disposal (see the notes at Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 45:9).
And thou our potter - Thou hast power to mould us as the potter does the clay.
And we all are the work of thy hand - That is, as the vessel made by the potter is his work. We have been formed by thee, and we are dependent on thee to make us what thou wilt have us to be. This whole verse is an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God. It expresses the feeling which all have when under conviction of sin; and when they are sensible that they are exposed to the divine displeasure for their transgressions. Then they feel that if they are to be saved, it must be by the mere sovereignty of God; and then they implore his interposition to ‹mould and guide them at his will.‘
Your only course is to give yourself unreservedly into the hands of Jesus—all your experiences, all your temptations, all your trials, all your impulses—and let the Lord mold you as clay is molded in the hands of the potter. You are not your own and therefore there is the necessity of giving your unmanageable self into the hands of One who is able to manage you. Then rest, precious rest and peace will come to your soul. LYL 43.3Read in context »
Not to Be a Shadow of Others [See chapter 29, “Dependence and Independence.”]—Oh, how much the workers need the spirit of Jesus to change and fashion them as clay is molded in the hands of the potter! When they have this spirit, there will be no spirit of variance among them; no one will be so narrow as to want everything done his way, according to his ideas; there will be no inharmonious feeling between him and his brother laborers who do not come up to his standard. The Lord does not want any of His children to be shadows of others; but He would have each one be his own simple self, refined, sanctified, ennobled by imitating the life and character of the great Pattern. The narrow, shut-in, exclusive spirit which keeps everything within the compass of one's self has been a curse to the cause of God and always will be wherever allowed to exist.—The Review and Herald, April 13, 1886. 2MCP 428.1Read in context »