Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it?
Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it?
As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
Tools. A vital mark of the technologically advanced age in which we live. From the ax and screwdriver to the microchip and soldering gun, tools make our lives easier and allow us to improve products and solve problems. Can you imagine building a house without a hammer? How about eating spaghetti without a fork? (No, I don’t want to see you try.) These simple, inexpensive pieces of material make certain tasks much easier to achieve.
Notice that individual types of tools are suited to particular tasks. You’d have a hard time splitting wood with a magnifying glass, and an ax isn’t going to help you inspect that welding job for cracks. Typically, a tool has a range of functions for which it’s commonly used, and outside of that, it’s not all that helpful. On the other hand, sometimes we can match a tool to a job it’s not expected to accomplish. A certain movie came out this year in which a frying pan was effectively used as a lethal weapon. That was obviously played for laughs, but without a doubt, the tools we use sometimes have more capability than we give them credit for.
Ever realized that God has a tool shed? True story. Throughout history, from the formation of the world until the present day, God has used His tools to accomplish His goals. Check out a mirror and you can see one right now. Yep! You are a tool in the hands of an almighty God. You might be a clay jar, a chainsaw, a shovel, a pair of scissors, or a megaphone; whatever your function, you are called to surrender yourself to the Master and allow yourself to be used by Him. Just as a chisel can’t know what it’s being used to carve, you may not be able to see the end product- but believe me, God has been in this business for a long time, and every single one of His works is a masterpiece.
Now, don’t let it go to your head. Look back to the verse in Isaiah. Here, the prophet was speaking of the Assyrians, a nation whom God used to punish His disobedient children (the nation of Israel). However, the Lord knew that the Assyrians would become proud and arrogant after their victory, so He resolved to humble them in due time. Indeed, you can see how that came to pass in 2 Kings 19:35-37. The warning here is not to let yourself become proud or overconfident as God uses you. Always give the glory to Him, for you and I are merely utensils, and we can only be useful when in the hands of the all-knowing Master Craftsman. The beautiful thing is this: as our Father uses us to shape the world, He is also attending to us- His specially designed tools- polishing us and allowing us to reflect His glory. How’s that for an honorable occupation?
Your brother in the faith,