Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth…
No doubt there are circumstances in which men find -
I. A TEMPTATION TO REBEL.
1. Men are bitterly disappointed, or they are greatly distressed; their high hopes are dashed to the ground, or their chief treasures are taken from their grasp.
2. Then they think themselves aggrieved; they imagine that the Almighty is dealing with them as he does not with their fellows - that he is acting ungraciously and even unjustly toward them.
3. The issue is often a settled rebelliousness of spirit, an" inward thought" that God is partial and unfair; a tone of querulousness, if not actual terms of reproach, or even blasphemous arraignment.
II. THE ARGUMENT FOR ACQUIESCENCE. This is manifold.
1. The impotence and the peril of human resistance to the Divine Will. "Woe unto him that striveth," etc. (ver. 9). How vain is the contrast between finite, perishable man and the Infinite and Eternal; between one who is formed of clay and him who "made the earth and stretched out the heavens"!
2. The deference due from the creature to the Creator. "That striveth with his Maker" (vers. 9, 11). For us to enter into a controversy with the Being who called us into existence, who endowed us with all the faculties we possess, who gave us the very power which is being exercised in criticism and questioning, without whose creative and sustaining hand we could not think one thought or speak one word, is unseemly and unbecoming in the last degree.
3. The fact of God's fatherhood, and all the reasons that reside therein. If it be unfitting for a son to reproach his father (ver. 10), how much more for us to rebel against God, who stands to us in a relation far more intimate, far more sacred, far more worthy of reverent submission, than that in which the human parent stands to his child! And it is also short-sighted; for the Divine Father has thoughts in his mired, reasons for his action, which we, his children, are quite unable to comprehend or even to conceive. For us to complain of him is for ignorance to complain of wisdom.
4. Consideration of the future which is coming. We must not leave the "things to come" (ver. 11) out of our reckoning; they have much to do with the whole question of God's dealings with mankind. What God purposes to do for us, both as individual men and as a race, forms an essential element in the whole matter. The future will be found to adjust the past and the present. The grievous things which have been and the painful things which are now will be balanced by, will be completely lost in, the blessed and glorious things which "wait to be revealed." - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?