Does an ax exalt itself above the one who chops with it? Does a saw magnify itself above the one who saws with it? It would be like a rod waving the one who lifts it! It would be like a staff {stick} lifting the one who isn’t wood!

~ Isaiah 10:15 (CSB)


God uses whomever He please, whenever He pleases, however He pleases.


Isaiah is speaking to the men of Judah about God’s sovereign plan to use Assyria as His agent of judgment. He wants them to understand Assyria is the ax in God’s hand. Judah, like their relatives the Israelites, had become as idolatrous and the surrounding nations. They were a thicket of wickedness with idols hidden every where and God was going to use Assyria as the ax to chop down the thicket and burn all the idols. So Assyria, who is full of pride and very boastful, is simply the instrument in God’s hand. The ax in and of itself has no power. The energy or power comes from the hand that swings the ax. Although the Assyrians were pagans themselves, they took great pride in locating and destroying the idols [gods] of other nations. Once they conquered a city, they searched diligently for all idols. They would bring them together and burn them before their captives. Their point was: our gods are greater than your gods.

The Israelites were not supposed to have idols of any kind. Israel was the only nation with an invisible God. This should have been a distinguishing trait making them different from all other nations. Yahweh, the invisible God, cannot be imagined, thus no images are to be made representing Him. The pagans created their gods with their hands. The images of their gods came from their own vile imaginations. We did not create Yahweh, He created us and He cannot be seen, thus He cannot be imagined. The gods were impotent but Yahweh is omnipotent. He is the giver of life: in Him we move and have our being. We are the hammer, the saw, the ax but He is the hand that moves us.  God was sick of His people worshiping idols and He used the Assyrians to locate them, expose them and destroy them. It worked; the Jews never worshiped idols after the Babylonian captivity.

What are the lessons to be learned from Isaiah ten?

  1. Inordinate pride will be judged and so will any form of idolatry. God used Assyria but latter He judged them for their pride. There are a few Assyrians living today but not enough to form a nation. Of course He judged Judah for their pride as well. God hates pride and Idolatry.
  2. God uses imperfect instruments so that He will get all the glory. The ax does not boast to the one who swings it. A perfect ax would garner some praise but an old dull ax gets no glory. The glory goes to the one who sharpens it and uses it. This is what is so deceiving about the point system [legalism]. People feel deserving because they think in terms of justice. I don’t think that way: I think MERCY. I don’t want justice. If God gave me what I deserved, it would be death and hell. I’m simply a stick {staff} in God’s hand. You do not glorify a stick. By the way, God can hit a hard lick with a crooked stick; so get over yourself–it is not about your goodness, it is all about His grace.
  3. The Assyrians had no idea God was using them. They were fully convinced that it was their power at work in the conquest of Israel but God was using them the entire time. He used Joseph’s brothers in a similar way: they sold Joseph into slavery but God used that to get Joseph in position to save the entire nation. The hate filled Sadducees conspired to have Jesus crucified. The poor fools didn’t know that they were doing exactly what God had planned. He used them and they were among the most vile humans on earth.
  4. God hates idols and He is going to destroy them all. If you have any, you better get unattached because they are going in the fire. Yahweh is relentless: eventually, He will get them all.

We want God to use us but not as He used the Assyrians or the Sadducees. He is going to use us, that is a done deal but how He uses us is up to us. Those who surrender to HIM and live for His glory will someday share in His glory. Those who seek glory now will end up with nothing but shame.

  • June and I saw the most unusual cloud formation as we drove in from Florette last night. I have never seen anything like it. Some one got some rain, praise the LORD. I was so pumped about the rain we got last night and then June told me that Monday would be the hottest day of the year with a tempt of 97*. I hope she is wrong but I have to admit we have not had a lot of extremely hot weather.
  • I was wrong about the Thursday night game and I hate it because there are no good games on tonight. There will be some good ones Saturday, LORD willing.
  • I’ve been reading the Christian Standard Bible for about two months and I love it. I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before. I like it so well, I’ve been preaching from it.

Go ahead and laugh but it will be here before some of you can say Roll Tide Roll!

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