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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Yatsar-The Potter: Biblical Meaning And Praying The Names Of God.

Welcome to Day 23 of our Names Of God Bible Study. Today we are studying the Hebrew Name of God, Yaster meaning The Potter.


Yatsar is the Hebrew name for God meaning to fashion, to frame, the potter. Yatsar is this incredible descriptive 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 is also the exact same Hebrew word used to describe what God did in Genesis when He formed Adam. God physically shaped Adam from the clay of the earth and breathed life into him. Join me as we dig for scripture treasure in a Bible study on the potter and clay and we will discover the many bible verses about God shaping our lives from this parable of the potter and the clay in the Bible.


Yatsar-The Potter

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.

We are the clay, and you are the potter.

We all are formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8.


Pronouncing The Name: yaw-TSAR


This is Day 23 of a 30 Day study on The Names Of God. If you haven't read the introduction yet, please start HERE


Yatsar-The Potter: Understanding the Name Of God

The Bible uses symbolism to deepen the message that God has for us. One such symbol is that of potter and clay. Pottery played a vital and important role in the everyday lives of the people of Bible times. It is not surprising, therefore, that pottery and pottery making is often mentioned in the Bible and was used to illustrate biblical spiritual truths.


The bowls, jars, and the manufacturing processes which produced them were familiar to everyone. After the clay was extracted from the ground, it was brought to the potter's shop where it was prepared. Foreign objects (such as stones, sticks, etc.) were removed and usually, water was added to soften the clay. When the clay was ready to be formed into a pot, it was put on a potter's wheel.


In the biblical period, the potter's wheel was a type called the 'double wheel,' or 'kick wheel.' A flywheel, which turned on a stone bearing (many of which have been found in excavations) was placed in a shallow pit on the floor of the potter's workshop. A shaft was attached to the top of the flywheel and at the end of the shaft was a small, round wooden platform upon which the potter worked. He placed the clay on the platform, turning the platform by kicking the flywheel with his foot. As the lump of clay on the platform spun, the potter could form, or 'throw,' a pot by guiding the clay with his fingers and allowing the centrifugal force to aid in shaping asymmetrical vessels.

Having formed the pot, the potter separated it from the remaining lump of clay by pinching it off with his fingers or cutting it off with a string. You can read more about this process HERE


The Potter And The Clay Parable


You can read a detailed example of this symbolism in the parable of the potter and the clay in

Jeremiah 18:2-9.

2 “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” 3 So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. 4 But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

5 Then the Lord gave me this message: 6 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9 And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.


God The Master Potter

God is the Master Potter and we are His clay. Our lives rest in His hands. It is a safe place to be. Just like a skilled potter can transform a lump of clay into a beautifully formed pot that is perfect for a specific use, so can our Master Potter transform us into beautiful vessels that God can use in our world. God knows how to apply precise pressure, when to relax His grip, and how to squeeze and nudge us so that we can become the perfect creation that He has created us to be.


When the potter has formed his masterpiece, he has to place it in a kiln to harden it and make it perfect for domestic use. As a kiln is firing up and cooling down, the changes in temperature make some profound changes in the clay. The clay goes from this soft, totally fragile substance to one that is rock-hard, impervious to water, wind, and time.


This is what happens to us too in our Master Potter's hand! God is shaping our lives! At times our Master Potter puts us in the kiln where the fires of life turn us into stronger vessels.


What can you do if you are in the firey kiln?


Surrender your will to God and ask Him for His wisdom, strength, and protection as you go through this refining and transformation process. You are so loved by God.


God is so patient with us when we rebel against His molding and shaping. I read a wonderful description of what it is like to be in our Master Potter's hands when we rebel against His molding by a talented writer called Mary Southerland.


This is what she says:


"If the clay begins to harden in its unfinished state, the Potter loves the clay enough to let it be crushed by the pressures of life. He then sprinkles it with the replenishing water of His presence and power and begins to mold His creation again. The Potter never tires of His work, and He never gives up on the potential that was lovingly tucked into our very being from the moment we were conceived in the heart and mind of God."

The only way for us to become all that God has created us to be is to remain pliable in the Potter's hands. Then we will become more and more like Jesus!


Here are some Bible verses about God shaping our lives:

  1. Genesis 2:7. Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

  2. Isaiah 29:16. How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

  3. Jeremiah 18:1-9: The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” 3 So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. 4 But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: 6 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9 And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom.

  4. Romans 9:14-24: Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15 For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” 16 So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.17 For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”[b] 18 So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. 19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” 20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.

  5. Psalm 100:3:Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

  6. Romans 12:2: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

  7. Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

  8. 2 Corinthians 3:18: So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

  9. 2 Corinthians 5:17: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

  10. Philippians 1:6: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

  11. 2 Corinthians 4:7: We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

  12. Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


Yatsar-The Potter to your life: Applying the name of God to your life

Do you give the Master Potter permission to bend you, break you, mold you into the unique, one-of-a-kind vessel that He has created you to be?


How does knowing God as Yatsar-The Potter affect your life?

I have prepared a free printable for you to use as you explore the names of God. You will find it in our Resource Library Here.

This page has prompts for you to use as you prayerfully meditate on the names of God.

So who is Yatsar-The Potter to you?

How does knowing God as Yatsar-The Potter impact your life?

How can you grow in your Christian walk by understanding God as Yatsar-The Potter?



Yatsar-The Potter: Praying the Name Of God

When you pray the word of God, you are praying His words of truth into your situation. It is the same when you pray the names of God. When you understand the meaning of the specific name of God and pray it over your situation- it is declaring His power over it. It certainly will build your faith and expectation of God to move in it. When you pray God's name, you are declaring the truth of who God is and you are proclaiming His power at work in your life. And when you pray to Yatsar-The Potter, you are praying to the One who molds and creates and restores you to the person He has created you to be.


Let's Pray:

God, my Yaster, I am so tired of not giving you full reign in my life. Help me to totally surrender all parts of my life to You, so that You can mold and shape them into the beautiful creation that You desire me to be. Transform my broken parts into a new creation. Refresh and replenish me with Your presence. I give you permission to mold me and create me into the person You want me to be. Amen.


Names of God Bible Study

If you are intrigued by the names of God, you will love the Names of God study. Studying the names of God will impact your life. You will be encouraged by them and your faith can only grow deeper and stronger as you discover that God sees you as His treasure. He delights in you!


Names of god bible study

I would love it if you could share with me your thoughts as you work your way through this Scripture plan. You can connect with me via emailkaren@scripturalgrace.comor on our FACEBOOKpage.

Come back tomorrow as we unpack the name, Abba, Pater-Father.

It's all about His grace

xx Karen.



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