Saturday, 11 September 2021 05:23

Return of the Bridge … The Master Potter

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In ancient times the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, and the Lord used a potter as a type of Himself, saying, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”  Now consider that shaping these people, each of whom had a will of his own, into whatever form the Sovereign Lord chose, would have been far more difficult than shaping the universe as described in Genesis 1.  

Therefore we can reasonably conclude that, for The Master Potter, shaping the universe in all of its exquisite detail from a formless lump of clay would have been relatively easy!  (Scripture is unequivocal that the creative and formative power of the universe was God, and not some sort of naturalistic process).  And indeed, the creation account in Genesis 1 details the critical events of this obedient progression, from an empty and formless (tōhû and bōhû) blob to the perfected universe.  

However, unlike God, an ancient potter would have gathered already existing clay from perhaps a shallow pit near a river or lake where clay deposits would have been bountiful.  But at the very beginning of Day 1, Genesis 1:1 explains by use of the word bārā’ that God created His “clay” out of nothing.  Of course, His clay was not clay at all, but rather “the heaven and the earth”.  

And in Genesis 1:2, it immediately describes the state of that raw material as being formless, empty, and dark.  Moreover, the plain reading of a proper translation, as well as incisive in-depth study of the ancient Hebrew both show clearly that the transition from verse 1 to verse 2 is seamless––verse 2 is undeniably describing the state of heaven and earth at the moment God created it from nothing1.  

Representing mainline Protestant thought, John Calvin (1509 – 1564) expressed this same sentiment in the following statements, untainted by the deep-time mythology of James Hutton (1726-1797) that also pervades modern thought:  

For Moses simply intends to assert that the world was not perfected at its very commencement, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth.  His language therefore may be thus explained.  When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste. … There is no doubt that Moses gives the name of heaven and earth to that confused mass which he shortly afterwards, (verse 2) denominates waters2.  – John Calvin

Once He had created the initial materials, the Lord God began increasing their organization and complexity by first speaking the substance of light into the disorganized mixture of matter and space, as recorded in genesis 1:3.  Thus commenced the 6 days of creation, as The Master Potter miraculously ordered and organized the amorphous blob He had created from nothing on the first day.  

Today, as physicists peer into the mysteries of mass-energy and space-time, most of them fail to realize that they are actually looking at the now highly organized foundational components God first created out of nothing, and called heaven and earth in Genesis 1:1.  We began exploring the nature of this primordial substance in the previous President’s Corner and will continue in the next.  

But because it is only The Master Potter who can create and destroy mass-energy and space-time, the foundational conservation laws known to modern physics likely originated when God created the heaven and the earth out of nothing in Genesis 1:1,2.   

Oops, I almost forgot.  You’re probably wondering what a bridge has to do with a potter.  Well … nothing … actually!?  But this article does bridge between the previous President’s Corner (in which the bridge disappeared) and the next (in which the bridge might reappear)!  


1Fields, Weston W. (1976), Unformed and Unfilled, A Critique of the Gap Theory, Master Books, Inc., Green Forest, Arkansas, 245 pp., ISBN 0-89051-423-2.

2Ibid., pg 34.  



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Rob Bracken

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