There is a beautiful piyyut (liturgical poem) that is sung during Yom Kippur that is called, “Ki Hinei Hachomer” (Like Clay In the Hands Of the Potter) which I have fallen in love with! It is a medieval liturgical poem and it is based on Jeremiah 18:6; “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” Here is just one stanza of the poem:
Like the clay in the hand of the potter-
he expands it at will and contracts it at will-
so are we in Your hand, O Preserver of kindness,
look at the covenant and ignore the Accuser.
This concept of the Lord being the potter and we being the clay is mentioned many times in the bible. Another verse that really stood out to me was Isaiah 64:8-9; “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and you our potter; and all of us are the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord, Nor remember iniquity forever; Behold, look now, all of us are your people.”
The idea that God creates us out of clay and makes us these beautiful, special vessels is a powerful thought. When I was in college studying art, I took a pottery class. I had to learn how to throw on the wheel (centering the lump of clay, raising it and forming it into the shape that I wanted). It was not easy doing it and honestly I wasn’t very good at it but, I have to tell you that I was so proud of my creations! When it was time to place my little pieces into the kiln and then take them out, I was overjoyed. That’s how God felt when you were created by Him. He was overjoyed at His creation. Now, I have to tell you, when I took my pieces out of the kiln, sometimes they were crooked; sometimes the glaze I put on didn’t look like I wanted it to; sometimes, the shape that I needed for a vase (for example) didn’t come out. The thing is, that when God creates He is really good! He uses the perfect ingredients, molded into the perfect vessel. He actually knows what He is doing! So, if you think that He made a mistake with you because you are not perfect; because you struggle, and you can’t seem to believe God, then you are listening to someone other than God; you are listening to the accuser.
Do you remember what the liturgy said? It said, “Look to the covenant and ignore the Accuser”. The liturgy is asking God to “look to the covenant” and to “ignore the accuser”. It’s also reminding us to “look to the covenant” and to “ignore the accuser”. Each day we are bombarded by a voice. The voice of the accuser reminds us of our past mistakes, our weaknesses, our failures, and he is relentless. He is that voice that says; “you can’t succeed, you’ve tried it too many times and you haven’t been able to do it. Just give up. God isn’t helping you and doesn’t care about you. You aren’t worthy of His love.” “You can’t really be forgiven, after all what you did was really bad.” All of us have heard some part of these thoughts. This is what the accuser is really good at. Look at 1 Peter 5:6-8; “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
How do we resist the accuser? I’m only going to cover one way today, and that is the word. Yeshua did it when He was being tempted by the adversary, and it is extremely important that we do it also. For example the thought that the accuser hurls at you, “You can’t really be forgiven, after all what you did was really bad”, the shame that the accuser lays on us with that statement is monumental. But, what does the word say? Look at Daniel 9:9, “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him.” Ephesians 1:7; “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
Through Yeshua’s blood we were sanctified and He has mediated a new covenant. So, even though the accuser may accuse us every day; every moment (Rev. 12:10, “accuses them before our God day and night”) remember, that we have this covenant where we were sanctified through His blood, and through this blood God will ignore the accuser.
So, as we observe the High Holy days this year what is it that the accuser is accusing you of? What lies are you believing that he has whispered in your ear? What do you believe to be true from him that is not true? What is it that it’s time to place under the blood of our Messiah so that we can believe that we are really forgiven?