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Romans 9:22 – Vessels of indignation adapted

09-08-2021 - Posted by Hans

Now if God, wanting to display His indignation and to make is powerful doings known, carries, with much patience, the vessels of indignation adapted for destruction (…)?

The rhetorical question in this long sentence in verses 22 and 23 follows from the earlier question in verse 21. Does not a potter have the right to make from the same material honorable objects or objects without honor? The metaphor should be clear: the potter refers to GOD, while the clay refers to man taken from the earth. As a potter makes objects for all kinds of purposes, so does GOD.

If GOD wants to demonstrate indignation and strength, but also patience, how else would He do it but by creating objects for this purpose? Doesn’t a script writer also do the same by assigning roles to different characters that he creates himself? Good and bad guys.

The problem usually with the above verse is that one reads here as if God would damn people forever (“double predestination”). But the final destination is not the issue here. Paul had already written about this (Rom. 3:23,24; 5:18) and he will write again (11:32,36). “Indignation” and “destruction” are never definitive with GOD (Ps.30:6). Mercy, justification and life are permanent!