Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger— the club in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I have removed the boundaries of peoples, and have plundered their treasures; like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.
My hand has found, like a nest, the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened its mouth, or chirped.” Shall the ax vaunt itself over the one who wields it, or the saw magnify itself against the one who handles it? As if a rod should raise the one who lifts it up, or as if a staff should lift the one who is not wood! Therefore the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/)
The emperor of Assyria boasts, “I have done it all myself. I am strong and wise and clever…” But the Lord says, “Can an ax claim to be greater than the man who uses it?” —Isaiah 10: 13, 15
The emperor of Assyria proudly boasted that his armies had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel, and would now destroy the southern kingdom of Judah as well. But the Lord humbled the emperor, saying in effect, “You are simply an ax that I am using to clean the undergrowth from my vineyard, Judah. For you to take credit for what I am doing in Judah is like having an echo take credit for producing its sound.”
What message might God’s words to the emperor of Assyria hold for me? How might I respond to the message?
—Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, our power comes from you. Your love endowed us with all the gifts we need to build your kingdom wherever the day takes us. You knew what talents to give to each of us; you knew the people who would need our outreach. Let us never dismiss our gifts as trivial or forget who bestowed us with our talents. Also, Lord, help us not to compare ourselves to others for then we begin to minimize our talents or look with jealousy upon those we perceive as more talented. Let us remember you gave us just the perfect set of talents to serve you day by day.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!