“But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).
The Israelites do not have a good relationship with God at this time because most of them have ignored His instructions and have gone their own way. The remnant that is left need God now, but He is not happy with them.
Through the prophet Isaiah, they try to present a self-serving picture so that God will help them. It appears they are attempting to repent—either sincerely or perhaps just giving lip service about their unworthiness and lack of devotion. They appear to be saying “Regardless of the past, we belong to you, and we now recognize you as the One who shapes us,” using the imagery of God as their potter.
Wallowing in self-pity is never a pretty picture, but that is really what the Israelites appear to be doing. They want Him to get over His disgust with them and solve the bad situation they have created—after all, they are “the work of (His) hand.”
Even today, God does not work that way. We can’t make decisions, religiously or morally, based on our own desires—get ourselves into a bad situation—and then run to God for resolution, claiming “We are the clay, and You our potter.” God wants to be our Potter all the time—not just when we are in trouble.