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Automatic Axe

Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Isaiah 10:15

I heat my house with wood, as did my father in the house I grew up in, so I have been cutting and splitting it for a long time. Not one time in all my years have I ever gone to the wood pile to find the ax splitting the wood by itself. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. I have picked up the ax on multiple occasions and swung it for hours until my arms ached and until I grew weary of swinging it. It would have been a luxury if the ax would have started swinging itself. Actually, if the ax had started swinging itself, I would probably have felt like I was going crazy because everyone knows that it is impossible for an ax to swing itself without an outside force. An ax is only useful if it is in the hands of an individual who is capable of swinging it.

Our lives are much like an ax; we can do nothing on our own. Only when we are in the capable hands of God can we ever accomplish anything. The bulk of Isaiah 10 decries the foolishness of the king of Assyria. He had become a mighty king, but he attributed that to his own might. God essentially laughs at his attempt to take the credit for his success. As Isaiah 10:15 asks about an ax, “Can a person boast about what he is doing and how useful he is when Someone else is actually doing the work?” We are created by Someone else, forged by Someone else, and made useful by Someone else. What do we have to boast about when something is accomplished through our lives? That “Someone else” is God, and without His decision to use us, we would still be in corner somewhere collecting dust.

There is another lesson here. In all my years of splitting wood, I have never been able to chop it in half with my hand. I have always needed a useful tool, like an ax, to get the job done. In much the same way, God has created us to be used, as well. He has a specific task that He wants each one of us to fulfill. I realize that God could get His job on earth accomplished without us, but God has chosen to use the tools He created for His purposes here on earth. If the tool is not available, then it is very possible that the work would go undone. However, we must realize that when we are the tool He chooses to use, we have nothing for which we can boast.

Read also: Isaiah 10:12-19

Quote of the day: “Humility makes great men twice honorable.” – Benjamin Franklin

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