Acknowledging the real source of blessings
“I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings. As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.’” Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood! Isaiah 10:12-15 God provides blessings both to those that placed their trust in Him and to those who are not. “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matthew 5:45). His purpose is for people to acknowledge that He is the One who is the source of blessings. There is a great danger to attribute blessings to your own abilities. This is what the Prophet Isaiah was addressing from the text. Though the Assyrians do not believe in God, He blessed them. They were a weak nation and God made them strong. Yet, instead of acknowledging God, they took the credit that belonged to God. When the Lord blessed them with great harvest, the farmers instead of acknowledging God, they credited the harvest to their skills in farming. When God brought about victory for their soldiers, their generals attributed their victories to their intelligence in war tactics. God listening to their bragging and gloating, He pointed out to them the folly of their claims. “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes” (Isaiah 10:12). The problem of the Assyrians is not an isolated case for even His own children could attribute blessings and prosperity to their own abilities. There are times that it is much easier to handle insufficiency and inadequacy than plenty and wealth. When we are experiencing poverty, the more we recognize that we need to depend on God. But in times of sufficiency, we tend to forget God and our attitude is not to require His working in our lives. The Bible provided several examples of people who assumed their self-sufficiency and that they do not have any reason to approach God only to realize that they were in dire spiritual poverty. Samson was the strongest man who had ever lived and yet attributed his power based on his own physical prowess and by keeping the Nazarite vow. When he was overcame by his selfish desires and went against God’s will, he lost his power and was reduced to a pitiful slave to Delilah and the Philistines. Be careful on how you look at the blessings and successes that come to your life. Always remember that God is the source of everything and that He blesses you so you could be a blessing to others.