I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. Psalm 31:12
Our bus finally arrived at our much-anticipated destination—an archaeological dig in Israel where we would actually do some excavation work of our own. The site’s director explained that anything we might unearth had been untouched for thousands of years. Digging up broken shards of pottery, we felt as though we were touching history. After an extended time, we were led to a workstation where those broken pieces—from huge vases shattered long, long ago—were being put back together.
The picture was crystal clear. Those artisans reconstructing centuries-old broken pottery were a beautiful representation of the God who loves to fix broken things. In Psalm 31:12, David wrote, “I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.” Though no occasion is given for the writing of this psalm, David’s life difficulties often found voice in his laments—just like this one. The song describes him as being broken down by danger, enemies, and despair.
So, where did he turn for help? In verse 16, David cries out to God, “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”
The God who was the object of David’s trust is the same One who still fixes broken things today. All He asks is that we call out to Him and trust in His unfailing love.
What areas of brokenness have you experienced? How has God helped you through those difficult times?
God of my help, I thank You for all the times I’ve fallen and been broken—times when You’ve put me back together.
For further study, read Understanding the Bible: The Wisdom Books.
In Psalm 31, David describes himself as broken pottery (v. 12)—an apt picture of humanity, for we’re frail vessels easily broken. We see this portrayal of humans as pottery and God as the Potter throughout Scripture (Psalm 2:9; Romans 9:21; Revelation 2:27). In Jeremiah 18:1–10, we read of the Potter’s ability to create, preserve, tear down, and reshape people and nations (see also Isaiah 41:25; 45:9). Yet as Isaiah declares, “You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (64:8). God as our Creator longs to preserve and restore His people (Psalm 31:23–24).