Bible Story Lessons For 8 Year Old Children Site Pinterest.Com Are You Sin Cere?

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Are You Sin Cere?

In the lyrical and descriptive first chapter of the Bible, Moses describes the creation of beings. He quotes God using the words “Let there be light…” ten times to describe the creation of space and light and water, etc. Refers to the facility with which God creates beings. He just has to let his plan happen and it does. He uses ‘created’ and ‘made’ eight times to refer to animals and cattle and horrible things that Adam and Eve probably stepped on until they learned better, or ignored because they had bigger problems to worry about. Too bad one of those horrible things didn’t crawl up and eat that stupid apple!) However, notice that in the following quotations when Moses and others describe how God created man, they use the word ‘formed’, not made or created. Moses thought that to describe the importance of God’s creation of man from animals, etc., he chose a word that specifically referred to a craft. A term used by artisans. A term that was specific to the manufacture of pottery.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” In Genesis 2:7 Elihu told Job in Job 33;6, “…I also am made of clay.” 1 Timothy 13 “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.”

Pottery plays an important role in our lives and throughout the Bible. In addition to being a vessel for transporting, storing, and serving the sustenance of our lives, it is often useful for allegorical and parabolic biblical teaching methods. Take this passage from Jeremiah 18:2-6. “Then I went to the potter’s house, and behold, he was working on a wheel. And the earthen vessel which he had made was broken in the potter’s hand: so he made another vessel again, as seemed good. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, ‘O house of Israel, shall I not do with you as this potter?’ ‘Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel,’ says God to Jeremiah, the priest and prophet, as the potter destroys the “corrupted” vessel. Make it again, so he can make the nation of Israel anew. Which is back to his idolatry and sinful ways. He continues in verse 8 that if Israel turns away from sin, he will “…repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.”

A hundred years earlier Isaiah foretold the destruction that would come upon Israel’s rebels by comparing it to a falling wall. (Isaiah 30:13) Isaiah describes a high wall, probably built of stone. It breached, swelled outwards, and suddenly fell, “…instantly.” I can see him sitting there, writing from the heart, imagining the fallen wall and thinking to himself, ‘That’s a pretty effective passage but the editor will want me to punch it up a bit. He thought for a while and got an inspiration! Breaking the dinnerware is always dramatic!! Verse 14 is born!

He writes, “And he shall break it as the breaking of a potter’s vessel that is broken to pieces; he shall not yield: so that in its breaking there may not be a fragment to take fire out of the pit, or to draw water out of the pit. He must be pleased with himself.” Be as he reflects in a well-written verse, “Broken, broken, broken and burst. Action words, all together in one verse! wow I also got fire and water in there, not to mention lots of bruises. I hope it makes it through the editing process!”

Psalm 2:9 has a rod of iron and a potter’s vessel. Can you predict in your wildest imagination what is going to happen? Well, God is mad again about some Gentiles and their unrighteous ties to “…the uttermost parts of the earth”. So he tells his son, by which means, the Gentiles will inherit,…wait for it! Here it comes… “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Being a potter was a pretty good gig back in the day!

Jeremiah, inconsistent as he appears here, certainly seems to have praised the potters. In chapter 4 of Lamentations, he says of them, ‘… the handiwork of the potters and their clay pots are precious and comparable to fine gold.’ High praise, right? It would seem, but he begins this verse with “How the gold faded! How the finest gold changed! The next verse after ‘Potters’ hands’ talks about sea monsters nursing their babies and the cruelty of ostriches. Huh???

One should understand that the Weeping Jeremiah wrote these verses after witnessing the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of Solomon’s four hundred year old holy temple. We should allow him a little melodrama and confusion as he sees the ruins of the city and the rubble in the streets. But remember, he wasn’t so upset that he forgot to give props to Potter!

Zechariah 11 is a dark and terrifying prophecy in which Zechariah describes the abominable rejection Christ will experience and how Jerusalem will be consumed by the fire of judgment. “Open thy gates, O Lebanon; fire shall consume thy cedars.” “I will not feed you: let him who dies, let him die; and what is to be cut, let him be cut; and the rest shall eat one another’s flesh.” This dire prophecy came true in 70 AD. Written five hundred years before Christ, this passage provides a wonderful, unusual foreshadowing of one of the most important and twofold scenes in the Bible, in which Judas Iscariot betrays Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Zechariah continues his prophecy and tells us that the Lord asked “If it seems good to you, give me my price; and if not, withhold. So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for my price.” And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter: a good price…” And I took thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

When Jesus was condemned by the chief priests; Judas Iscariot, if you remember, was so upset that he threw pieces of silver at the feet of the chief priests in the temple and went and hanged himself. The chief priests would not keep the money that Judas had thrown away. They consulted, negotiated, and bought the potter’s field to bury strangers with Judas’ “blood money.” The potter’s field was the field from which the potters obtained their clay. ‘Potter’s Field’ To this day, the term is associated with a graveyard for the helpless and the unknown.

Isaiah was big on the symbolic value of potters and pottery. He can say it simply, as in Chapter 64:8. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; and we are all the work of your hands.” Or, he may complicate the intended reading with symbolism and metaphor, as in Isaiah 29:16 “Surely your vile things shall be valued as the potter’s clay: for the work will say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me. ?’ Or will the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He had no understanding’? The previous verse, verse 15, refers to those who tried to hide their counsels and their deeds from God. In other words, it explains verse 16. , they have tried to “overturn” things by denying that God knows what they think and what they do. It is as if the pot said to the potter, ‘You did not make me.’ Then, to add insult to injury, he added, ‘You had no idea what you were ‘framing’ even though you ‘framed’ me. The potter and the potter’s rescue! Once again.

Just as pottery is used throughout the Bible to effectively illustrate abstract theological concepts, actual pottery and pottery holes are used for much more practical purposes such as, in Job 2:8, Job “…took a potsherd to pierce himself.” ; and he sat in ashes.” He used wounds to attack his boils, perhaps tearing them out in verse 7 “…from the sole of his feet to his crown.” I’m sorry I had to subject you to that graphic image, but it had to be done! Besides, it’s in the Bible!! (Rimshot here.) I’m sorry I had to subject you to that unnecessary piece of self-promotion, but it had to be done!

As one would expect from Solomon, he sees the wisdom of using a good pottery analogy! Proverbs 26:23 looks into the depths of an evil heart that speaks evil. he writes,

“Flaming lips and a wicked heart are like a vessel covered with a silver dress.”

He compares the silver-tongued liar to a faulty clay pot whose cracks are hidden by cheap silver veneer. He who talks like this is not sincere.

You are going to love this segue. Sellers of crooked earthenware, by which I mean dishonest, used to seal the cracks in their inferior jars with wax and paint them with dross, a cheap silver color. When the unsuspecting user fills the jar with something hot, the wax will melt and the jar will leak. The honorable jar salesmen didn’t think it was cool because it gave them a bad name. They, therefore, posted signs for potential buyers that read “sin cere”, ‘without wax’. Hence the origin of the word sincere!

are you sinning

Francois Maurice

August 2012

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