Steve Ellison: Should The Axe Boast?

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Last time, we looked at the first four verses of Isaiah 10.  They fall in the context of Isaiah 10:1-19 which focus mainly on God’s dealings with Assyria as He uses them to discipline and punish, His chosen people.  God eventually called Assyria to account for their own behavior including going farther in punishing Israel than they should have.  God is sovereign over every nation.  The Jews were His chosen people not because they were special or that He loved them more than other people.  Rather, they were chosen in the sense that they were His chosen instruments to broadcast His grace and mercy to the whole world.

 

 

In the current passage of Isaiah 10:15-19 God asks some pointed questions of His instrument at the time, the Assyrians.  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? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it,

Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood. 16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, will send a wasting disease among his stout warriors; And under his glory a fire will be kindled like a burning flame. 17 And the light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame,

And it will burn and devour his thorns and his briars in a single day. 18 And He will destroy the glory of his forest and of his fruitful garden, both soul and body, And it will be as when a sick man wastes away. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest will be so small in number

That a child could write them down. (NASU)  No doubt, you noticed that God did not wait for an answer from the Assyrians. He basically answered the question Himself through a simile and by declaring His sovereign inescapable response. 

 

The Jews were God’s instrument to bless the whole world.  Because of their failure, God used the Assyrians to chastise the Jews.  As most humans do, the Assyrians’ pride led them down a dangerous path.  First, God pointed out the folly of axe promoting itself over the one using the axe.  He also used a similar example of a club or staff thinking it more important than him who brandished it.  God continued the simile, by pointing out the impossibility of the wooden rod lifting the human who carried it. If these comparisons seem far-fetched or ridiculous, please note that they are nowhere near as incredible as any nation, including Assyria, or Israel, or the USA attempting to elevate itself over the Sovereign God of the Universe. If you think He is going to allow that, you had best think again.  He will not. 

 

Our text concludes with the solemn warning for the Assyrians and all who disregard the Lord. Their punishment will be severe.  (By the way, history and the Bible record that God kept His promise and the Assyrians met a crushing defeat.) Furthermore, in verse 17, God makes clear that He will dramatically manifest Himself.  Familiar and frequent descriptors (light of Israel and his Holy One) are used to identify Him and His glory.  The majesty and power of God will absolutely destroy the instrument that tried to steal some of His glory (See Isaiah 42:8, 48:11, etc.).  The destruction of the one who opposes God in such a way will be absolute.  We should listen and heed the warning given to the Assyrians.  We should consider the consequences to the Assyrians for failing to heed the warning.


Union Gospel Mission Seeks Volunteers To Serve This Thanksgiving Eve

Bob Tamasy: Will This Be A Thankfulness-Challenged Thanksgiving Day?

Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints President Russell Nelson Issues Call For Gratitude


On Wednesday, The Union Gospel Mission will be serving Thanksgiving dinners to homeless neighbors from 1-3 p.m. on the corners of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Houston Street, and Martin ... (click for more)

So, what are you most thankful for in 2020, this epic year of the novel coronavirus, aka COVID? Finding it difficult to think of something, perhaps? Aren’t you thankful that for most of ... (click for more)

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a call for gratitude in a special video broadcast in Chattanooga and throughout the world on Friday, November ... (click for more)



Church

Union Gospel Mission Seeks Volunteers To Serve This Thanksgiving Eve

On Wednesday, The Union Gospel Mission will be serving Thanksgiving dinners to homeless neighbors from 1-3 p.m. on the corners of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Houston Street, and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Georgia Avenues. Volunteers are needed to pack the dinners earlier that day at the Union Gospel Mission beginning at 10 a.m. and then later that afternoon at ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Will This Be A Thankfulness-Challenged Thanksgiving Day?

So, what are you most thankful for in 2020, this epic year of the novel coronavirus, aka COVID? Finding it difficult to think of something, perhaps? Aren’t you thankful that for most of this year, whenever you have emerged from the relative security and safety of your home, you had to wear a facemask? Just think of the limitless opportunities for making a facial fashion statement ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee Has 4,404 New COVID Cases, 53 More Deaths

The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is 352,376 on Thursday with 4,404 new cases. There have been 53 more deaths from the virus, for a total of 4,519, said state Health Department officials. The state currently has 2,178 people hospitalized from the virus, 5 less than on Wednesday. There have been 312,885 people who have recovered from the virus in Tennessee (89 ... (click for more)

Georgia Has 26 New Coronavirus Deaths, 2,946 New Cases

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been 26 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 8,716. There were 2,946 new cases as that total reached 413,909 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Hospitalizations are at 34,587, up 174 from Wednesday. Here are the numbers by county: Catoosa County: 1,997 cases, up 25; 29 deaths; ... (click for more)

Opinion

County Employees Need A Bonus Too

A few weeks ago we learned that Sheriff Jim Hammond was asking for a second raise. Earlier this year Hamilton County employees were notified that "due to COVID-19" there would be no raises for employees of any kind this year. I guess Mr. Hammond didnt get that memo about no raises. Why is it that some employees will be getting a raise and others are not? That doesn't really ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful

For the life of me, I can’t remember when it started but back in the ‘70s, I began devoting my sports column on Thanksgiving Day to off-the-wall stuff of which I was truly and genuinely thankful. Back then I would go to from “76 reasons”, then “77 Reasons”, and then “78 reasons” with every new year. We climbed through 80’s, and the 90’s and it became a tradition. By then it had ... (click for more)