Who are you, O man, to reply against God?

But who indeed are you – a mere human being – to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Rom 9:20

Have you ever heard a teenager say to his or her parents, “It’s your fault, you brought me into this world!” People say the same thing to God, but there is no merit in it.

God is fair and just, but even if He wasn’t there are some things about Him that would give us good reason not to talk back to Him:

1 – He is bigger than us.
2 – We cannot prevail against Him.
3 – He can destroy us suddenly.

This may sound crude, but it is true. Its not smart to fight against someone that is impossible to defeat. Especially so if that Someone is someone who is holy and just and Who’s only desire is to bless humanity. When you choose to fight against God, you are not only spinning your wheels against an immovable wall, but you are also fighting against the common good of all mankind, since that is God’s desire. Look at what the angel said when announcing the birth of Christ:

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14.

Since God is all benevolent and all-knowing and all-powerful, to reply against Him is only ignorance.  Even the fact that He allows ignorant men to reply against Him without destroying them shows His goodness and patience towards us.  God does, eventually, bring judgment upon hardened opposers to His will, but He is very patient. The bible says that He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil.

God shapes and molds people as He wills. It’s not up to us to argue with Him if don’t agree or understand what He is doing.  Instead, if we desire to be shaped into something honorable we ought to do what Paul says and, “cleanse ourselves” from dishonorable things (2 Tim 2:21). We can’t control what type of vessel God will mold us into, but we can control whether or not we are a vessel of honor or dishonor.

This also has much to do with foreknowledge, election, and predestination.  Pharaoh is a great example of this.  Before the foundation of the world God knew Pharaoh would harden his heart: “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand (Ex 3:19.)”  This is why God says to Pharaoh, “For this purpose I have raised YOU up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth (Rom 9:17).” Notice how God says “you,” thus indicating that He is talking about a particular person.  This is significant. God took this man who dishonored himself and molded him into a vessel of wrath to demonstrate His power.  Pharaoh was no different than anyone else. He could have cleansed himself from dishonor. But he didn’t, and God knew that, and that’s why God chose him.

The same reasoning applies with Judas.  Notice that Jesus chose all twelve disciples, including Judas. He chose them for a reason. They weren’t just 12 random people.  He chose Judas, however, for a not so honorable reason. He chose him because He knew that he was a hardened thief (Jn 12:6). I mean, how can you watch Jesus heal the sick, raise the dead, forgive the sinners, read the thoughts of men, and walk on the water and then, still, rob the money box on a regular basis?  This man had thoroughly hardened his own heart, God knew it before any of it ever happened, and that’s why God chose him to be the betrayer of the Son of God.

So, God has mercy on whom He wills and He hardens whom He wills.  But that doesn’t mean that He randomly chooses people to harden or have mercy on for no reason. It just means exactly what it says, that He does it to whom He wills.  2 Timothy, for example, shows us that God wills to make honorable vessels out of those who cleanse themselves from dishonorable things.

Now in a wealthy home there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also ones made of wood and of clay, and some are for honorable use, but others for ignoble use. So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior (the behavior listed earlier in the chapter), he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Tim 2:20-21).

Vessels are made out of clay.  We are the clay and God is the master potter. God doesn’t mess up, so the only way the clay could be marred would have to be an imperfection in the clay. Dirt, for example. So, let us get the dirt out, and God will form us into an honorable vessel.

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