9Woe to him who strives with his Maker!--a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles?(A)
10Woe to him [who complains against his parents that they have begotten him] who says to a father, What are you begetting? or to a woman, With what are you in travail?
11Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Would you question Me about things to come concerning My children, and concerning the work of My hands [would you] command Me?
12I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
This is my Bible's note on this passage:
God calls his complaining people "potsherds," broken pieces of clay. These broken bits rank as the least valuable materials for pottery making and are usually thrown into a potter's field and abandoned. Or they're used as scrapers, scoops, or pieces of scrap paper. The Lord says these clay shards scarcely compare to the master, who masterminds the creative process.
King David calls himself a piece of "broken pottery" when he feels worthless and fears that people disrespect him (Psalm 31:12). Being a potsherd is as far as someone can crumble. That's who we are compared to God, but it's not our final identity. Our relationship with God is a balance between realizing we're unworthy without him (Psalm 14:3) but worthy because of him through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Though we're only bits of clay, when we reverence who he is versus who we are, he can remold us into vessels full of his power (2 Cor 4:7).