“Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?” (Isaiah 10:15, NKJV)
The Assyrians were ruthless and cruel, using terror as a weapon. They had conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and would defeat 46 cities in Judah. Many cities, when they knew that they would fall to the Assyrians, chose to commit mass suicide rather than be captured. But God had raised up the Assyrians to be His instrument of judgment. He had worked in the heart of Assyria’s king to do these things.
The Assyrians, however, had become haughty. They were intoxicated with their own success. They went beyond merely defeating people to making sport of their maiming and suffering. Then they boasted over every nation and every god. But the LORD was not pleased.
Imagine if you took an ax and chopped down a tree, and then the ax boasted in what it had done. Or what if you sawed a piece of wood, and the saw said to you, “I don’t need you. I can do this myself!”
Because of Assyria’s impertinence, God would now consume her like a fire consumes a forest. This great world empire would never regain its dominance over nations.
If God uses us, there is always the temptation to think that we have something to do with it. We all have a constant enemy of pride that is ever willing to take a bow for what God has done. Oh that we would delight in merely being yielded instruments in God’s hand and give Him all the glory!