Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it?

Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
(Isaiah 10:15)

In Isaiah 10, God is calling out Assyria for destruction because of their arrogance and pride (Isaiah 10:12). The Lord used the Assyrian empire as the rod of His wrath to punish the nations, including Israel and Judah. But that does not mean that God approved of the Assyrians or that they were righteous.

The Assyrians were very arrogant in their pursuit of power and destruction. You can see the arrogance of the Assyrian kings in that they attributed all of this military victory and dominance to their own strength. God was not recognized nor magnified in their victories.

For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I remove the boundaries of peoples, and plunder their treasures; like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones. My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing or opened the mouth or chirped.”
(Isaiah 10:13-14)

In verse 15, we see a piercing question asked by God:

Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?

Listen, buddy, God says, you are just an axe in my hands. I’ve never seen an axe or a saw strut around and boast. They are just wood and metal, instruments in the hands of the master. That is the point of God through Isaiah here, Assyria was merely an instrument in the hands of the Almighty and Righteous God.

Please keep this in mind today, guys. There is no cause for boasting in anything other than the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:31; Galatians 6:14). Be very careful of your words and who gets the credit and glory for who you are and what you do.

We are merely instruments of His righteousness.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
(Romans 6:13)