For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
As He says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:
“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.”
And as Isaiah said before:
“Unless the LORD of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
“indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?” Another translation says it this way; “Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” Do we hear many voices complaining that God doesn’t do right, or, accusing God of wrongs. Do we hear the evils that man commits against each other blamed on God, because He didn’t intervene? We can respond with Paul, who quotes from the Old Testament: Who are you, the creation, to reply to the Creator? Who are you to require of the Creator what you cannot provide? This passage puts into perspective who God is and who we are in relation to him. We are guilty of his wrath. We, as in all of humanity, commit the atrocities, for whatever reason, but we are the ones responsible. Yet he has shown mercy in providing forgiveness for repentance, redemption for belief, life for death, atonement for sins. He is the potter, we are the clay. How much easier it is to bend and move with the hands that form us.