Saturday, May 12, 2018

Isaiah 10:15 -- On Being Part of God's Pattern

"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

This is an interesting analogy comparing people to tools.  In this case the analogy is applied to the King of Assyria, but also applicable to our lives.  I don't mean to imply at all that we shouldn't work and strive to accomplish something in this life.  We should.  Making a difference for good would be a worthy accomplishment.  However, that kind of righteous striving is different than what God is talking about here in a couple of important ways.

First of all, our righteous striving needs to be, at its core, good.  Trying to become the richest or most powerful or trying to push others down in order to elevate ourselves... those things are just going to blow up in our faces.  God will incorporate those things into his pattern and perhaps accomplish some good, but just like Satan in the Garden of Eden... we don't get any credit for it when things work out well.  When we do evil, we get evil rewarded to us, whether it comes directly or returns to us later.  Only God can see well enough to help people overcome and flourish through those bad things... not something we should ever try at home.

Secondly, the King of Assyria was taking all the credit.  Whatever we are accomplishing or working toward, if we want it to be a good work or have a good outcome, we need to include the Lord in it.  That doesn't diminish our accomplishments at all.  It just shows our wisdom in recognizing the source of our power.  All things come from God, and everything we do is by his hand.  God is included, if for no other reason,  because he created us, and gave us the power to act.  In the King of Assyria's case, as usually is the case with us, our actions and accomplishments are part of the pattern in a larger tapestry, and only God can see the whole pattern and all the threads.  We have to trust him to guide us in weaving a pattern that we can only imagine.

Today, let's remember that God is an essential part of our lives and not think that we're way cooler and more powerful than we are.  We are definitely of worth, and important, especially to God, but we need God's help, always.  Let's embrace the fact that we can do great good by being part of God's plan and pattern, rather than going our own way and fighting against it.

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