Do you guys know what the very first words were that God said to Jeremiah? I’m gonna show you. It’s in Jeremiah chapter 1. This is the first thing that God says to Jeremiah: “The word of the Lord came to me and said, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.'”
That verb there, “formed,” is the Hebrew word yatsar, and God says to Jeremiah, “Before I yatsar you, I knew you.” Yatsar is this crazy weird Hebrew word that actually means to take shape by squeezing. Yatsar is a potter’s term. God’s first words to Jeremiah are the words of a potter. It’s the exact same Hebrew word used to describe what He did in Genesis when he formed Adam.
Genesis 2:7 – then the LORD yatsar man from the dust, same exact Hebrew word. The potter yatsar the clay, the clay take shape by the potter squeezing it and forming it into shape. Mike yatsar clay. Jeremiah can’t help wonder in that moment he’s looking back and he’s remembering that’s the first thing God says about me that’s true about me. Now God is bringing me to the potter’s house to show me something really important. This right is a visual picture of what God spoke to Jeremiah the very first time He said a word to him. The very first word God gave Jeremiah to understand his own life is now the image of who He wants his people to have, about who God is and what God does. This right here is a visual picture of what God does and who God is and God wanted Jeremiah to see this. So much so he says “up on your feet and go to the potter’s house!”
God formed yatsar Jeremiah when he was in the womb like a potter forms clay and God wants to form-yatsar His people like a potter forms clay.
Isaiah 64:8 says this – “O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, you are our Potter, we are all the work of Your hand.”
Ephesians 2:10 – “We are all God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which I prepared in advance for you to do.”
What God is saying to Jeremiah, to me, and to you is this. “You are being yatsar. I form you, I shape you the same way an artist shapes a pot. It’s the same exact way, and when I do this, you are made this beauty – You are!”
God is an artist working at His wheel. God shaped Adam, God shaped Jeremiah, God shaped His people. God is our potter and you are His clay.