What causes a tree to fall? To be sure, the axe will cause the tree to fall. But, apart from the man swinging the axe, nothing will happen! The axe is powerless, unless it is in the hands of the lumberjack. So also are we powerless, unless used by God. May we not forget it. God said, “Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?”
Shortly before Assyria destroyed Israel, God called Assyria, “The rod of My anger.” He said, “I send it [Assyria] against a godless nation [Israel] and commission it against the people of My fury.” In other words, God said, “I am the lumberjack. Assyria is the axe. And Israel is the tree. I am the one who will cut Israel down.” And yet, the king of Assyria boasted as if God wasn’t even in the equation. He said, …
“By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this,
For I have understanding;
And I removed the boundaries of the peoples
And plundered their treasures,
And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants.”
The end of the prideful Assyrians wasn’t good. You can read all about it in Isaiah 10:5-19. May we not be like a proud axe.