To hear this poem presented in church with an introduction and devotional challenge, please click here:
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?”
“Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three…” But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game — and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
Myra Brooks Welch (1921)
Genesis 2:5-7 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
John 9:1-7 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Jeremiah 18:1-6 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
Psalm 68:13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
The following is taken from the study Earthen Vessels, based on John 9:
First the Potter healed the blind man physically, then He healed him spiritually. First Jesus healed this man’s physical blindness, then He healed his spiritual blindness. When the man who was born blind, but who now saw, when he realized who it was who had healed him, he placed his faith in the Son of God.
The Potter, the Creator who made every one of us, has the power to remake us for His glory. Jesus has the power to take every blind man and give him sight – take every hellbound sinner and open their eyes to understand the truth of the Gospel. He can take every marred vessel and use it for His glory – He can take a vessel of dishonour and make it into a vessel of honour, through faith in Him and His finished work on the cross of Calvary. Then the Lord is glorified by the lives of those earthen vessels that were once marred but now are miraculously recreated; He is magnified by the testimonies of those He has healed; and He is worshipped by those whose lives He touches and transforms!
Are you an earthen vessel that Jesus has touched and changed? If not, you can be. The Potter who created you also has the power to recreate you – He can change your sinful, sin-filled vessel of wrath into a vessel of mercy that will honour and glorify Him (see Romans 9:22-23). Will you turn to Him and let Him remake you according to His perfect plan?
If you will turn from your sin and receive the Heavenly Potter, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Saviour, then He can transform you into a vessel unto honour and use you for His glory. Though you are an only earthen vessel, a weak vessel made of clay, you can be sanctified (set apart for the Lord), and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work, as the power of God works in your life and through you.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
June 6th, 2006