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© Rosemary Bardsley 2024

Isaiah 64:8 – ‘Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

In Isaiah 43 we find a portrait of God, who is the ‘potter’, and in whose hands we are ‘the clay’.


Isaiah 43:1 – ‘he who created you ... he who formed you’.

God is the Creator:

Of the world.

Of us, as individual human beings.
Of us corporately as his people – in the Old Testament, the people of Israel; in the New Testament, the church.

God is the One who forms us:

He shapes us and moulds us into the person he wants us to be.
His hand is forever upon us.

David wrote:

‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them’ – Psalm 139:13 – 17.

The Lord told Jeremiah:

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’ – Jeremiah 1:5.

Paul testified:

‘God ... set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace...’ – Galatians 1:15.

And taught that all who believe in Christ:

‘... are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory...’ – 2Corinthians 3:18.

God, the Creator, the Potter, does not leave us to ourselves; he is changing us, transforming us, metamorphosing us into the image of his Son.


Isaiah 43:1 – ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you ...’

In the history of Israel, God made himself known as ‘Redeemer’ when he miraculously delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Isaiah 43:3 – ‘I gave Egypt for your ransom’).

For Christian believers, the New Testament teaches us that God has redeemed us (from the law of sin and death) through the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son:

‘The Son of Man came ... to give his life a ransom for many’ – Mark 10:45.,

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ – John 3:16.

We are ‘justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus’ – Romans 3:24.

‘...you were redeemed ... with the precious blood of Christ’ – 1Peter 1:18, 19.

This costly redemption is the measure of the love the Potter has for us.


Isaiah 43:1 – ‘I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’

God calls us by name and tells us ‘you are mine.’

‘...the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name ...’ – John 10:3.

‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me’ – John 10:27.

‘... rejoice that your names are written in heaven’ – Luke 10:20.

The Potter knows us, really knows us. To him, we are not nameless; we are not mass-produced; we are not insignificant.


Isaiah 43:3 – ‘I am the LORD, your God...’

In the Old Testament, whenever you see LORD written all in upper case letters, it is a translation of the Hebrew word referenced by the English Jehovah or Yahweh. It is the self-identifying name that God called himself when Moses wanted to know his name.

 ‘...when they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.”’ – Exodus 3:13, 14.

This name – I AM – refers to the self-existence, the uncausedness, the eternality, the unlimited sufficiency of God. He is the ever-living One. He is whatever he needs to be. He will be whatever he will be.

When Jesus Christ applied this divine name to himself, his contemporaries knew immediately that he was claiming to be God:

‘...“I tell you the truth ... before Abraham was born, I am” At this, they picked up stones to stone him ...!’ – John 8:58, 59.

It is this self-sufficient, eternal God who is the Potter; we, the clay, are in his ever-present, unlimited hands.


Isaiah 43:3 - ‘...the Holy One of Israel...’

The God of Israel, the Potter, reveals himself as the only God – unique, one-of-a-kind, set apart from anything else that might be called ‘god’. This utter otherness includes, but is not limited to, moral perfection.

‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’ – Isaiah 6:3.

‘I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God’ – Isaiah 44:6.

‘Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one’ – Isaiah 44:8.

‘I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me’ – Isaiah 46:9.

There is no other power, no other ‘god’, greater than the Potter – no one, nothing, can snatch us from his hands (John 10:28,29); no one, nothing, can ever separate us from his love (Romans 8:33 - 39).


Isaiah 43:3 – ‘...your Saviour...’

‘... apart from me there is no saviour’ – Isaiah 43:11.

‘I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more’ – Isaiah 43:25.

‘There is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none but me’ – Isaiah 45:21.

This Saviour, this Potter, has comprehensively dealt with our sin and guilt. He no longer holds them to our account (Psalm 32:1); he has clothed us with garments of salvation, and arrayed us in a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).



This is the God who is the ‘potter’. He is worthy of our trust.

Proverbs 3:5 – ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’

This God, this Potter, takes great delight in us, and rejoices over us with singing – Zephaniah 3:17.

This God, this divine Potter, says to us:

‘You are my witnesses ...my servant whom I have chosen so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. ... You are my witnesses ... that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand’ – Isaiah 43:10,12, 13.