Will the ax boast against the one who hews with it? Will the saw exalt itself above the one who wields it? As if a rod could sway the one who lifts it, or a staff could lift the one who is not wood! Isaiah 10:15 NABRE
Isaiah speaks of the nation of Assyria as an instrument of God’s punishment. The northern kingdom is unfaithful, creating an alliance with Samira, and they are defeated. The words from Isaiah indicate God supports Assyria to defeat the northern kingdom for their unfaithfulness. But Assyria goes too far, they destroy and continue to attack even the southern kingdom. God sees their behavior as arrogant. They are an instrument of God’s providence but they believe it is them that are the power, and they can do whatever they decide. God turns His attention to them in their pride and says He will punish their bragging and arrogance. The image used is of an ax being in control of cutting the wood, not the axman, or the saw cutting and not the sawman, the same of the rod and staff; these are instruments used to assist, they are not the actor delivering a result. The passage acknowledges that God is the Lord of human affairs and we should bend to His will, be instruments of His desires.
This passage is a denouncing of pride, the act of taking on ourself what belongs to God, putting ourself in God’s place. In sinfulness we make an idol of the instrument of our pride, be it money, or power, or some other attribute for which we boast as if it is the most important aspect of life. These idols become the center of our life, we work to attain more and we do all we can to grow this idol. We make many idols in the depths of our hearts when we sin. Ignore idols and turn to God, becoming an instrument of His will.
What are the idols in your life? How can you attain balance and become God’s instrument?Idols; power, money, etc. become the center of our life, we work to attain more and we do all we can to grow our idols. We make many idols in the depths of our hearts when we sin. Ignore idols and turn to God, becoming an instrument of His will. Click To Tweet
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