Thursday, April 01, 2010

God's Toolbox

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Isaiah 10:5 "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation."
Have you ever noticed all of the unfamiliar tools hanging from the ceiling in every Cracker Barrel restaurant? There's a little part of my brain that is afraid that one of those heavy metal tools is going to come crashing down on my head! Most of the tools hanging there are outdated, but at one time, each tool had a particular purpose and a specific design for that purpose. In Isaiah, we see that God Himself has a toolbox, and His tools are just as varied as the tools hanging in Cracker Barrel. Most of the time, the tools that the Master chooses to use are people!
In verse 5, we see that the Assyrian king was God's tool. God calls him "the rod of mine anger." The Assyrians were unknowingly the channels of God's indignation towards the Israelites. Do you really think the Assyrian king realized that he was only a tool in God's hand? No! Verse 7 explains, "Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy..." This king may have had his own ambitions, but it was God Who gave Him the power to do anything!

A tool cannot accomplish anything without an outside source of power. Whether the power is electricity or muscle, a tool's usefulness is completely dependent upon that power. How foolish of the Assyrian king to think that the victories he saw were by the might of his own hand! Notice how many personal references are found in verse 13: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed...and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man" (emphasis mine). He was only God's tool; he had no right to boast, for it was God that was doing the work. The tool has no right to boast. "Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?..."
What should we learn? First of all, we must keep an attitude of meekness and humility when we see God chastening someone else-and even more so when God uses us to be a tool for correction in someone else's life. One moment we may be the tool, but the next moment God may be using a tool on us!
Secondly, we must always be mindful of God's hand when He is using us. He is the source of any power that we have! We have no right to take credit for anything He does through us. After all, we are just the tools!
Assyria, once a world power, was brought to nothing when God was through with them. Their arrogance was their destruction. God's power, on the other hand, has not changed. Let's count it a privilege to be a tool in the hand of God to accomplish great things today. But remember-you're just the tool!
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Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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