“He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”
Jeremiah 18:6 NIV http://bible.com/111/jer.18.6.niv
God is speaking to Israel through Jeremiah. He's not happy with them right now.
He asks a question that should sober and remind us who's God--and who's not.
"Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?"
God is referring to the potter he sent Jeremiah to observe. The potter takes a lump of clay and forms it into a pot. When he sees it's "marred in his hands" he reforms and reshapes it. Why? Because he can; because he's the potter and it's the clay. No one expects the clay to question or complain to the potter. It "knows" it's place. The potter knows his place too. He is the one with the power to create, shape, reshape and destroy. It's his right as creator.
God compares himself to the potter and Israel to the clay. He tells Israel through Jeremiah that Israel is marred and needs reforming. They should repent from their wicked ways or he eventually will destroy them.
God is speaking to all his people when he says this. Paul refers to this passage in 2 Cor. 4 using the same picture. We're just jars of clay formed by the hand of the master. When we are marred because of our wicked and wayward ways, he calls us to repent. He wants to reform us and make us usable again. We can cooperate or we can resist. Ultimately, persistent resistance leads to destruction. By God's grace I pray we will yield to his good and wise ways and allow him--invite him--to reform us.
Lord, forgive my proud and evil ways. Forgive me when I resist your attempts to reform me. I gladly and humbly submit to your good, great, gracious and glorious rule in my life. I am but clay. Yet in your hands I am a jar of clay holding the priceless treasure of your gospel. May I display it well this day. In Christ's power name I pray, amen.