“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying,] Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psalm 2:1-7).
“O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but [it is] in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, [Are] not my princes altogether kings? [Is] not Calno as Carchemish? [is] not Hamath as Arpad? [is] not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done [it,] and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant [man:] And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs [that] [are] left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 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 10:5-15).
“The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).
Vaunting Axe: Isaiah ten says God actively causes my swing to necessitate. If I possess free agency, where is my genuine freedom then? If His decree I cannot break asunder then I cannot boast that it was my own wise and inscrutable Calvinist-compatibilist hand that did rob, remove, and plunder. But this is a sanctified boast since protecting God’s holiness, honor, and glory is what matters to me most.
Christian: The enthroned Lord laughs and thunders derision. Mutinous axe vainly assaying to thwart His eternal decision.
Vaunting Axe: This truth is very bite-like, but not very Christ-like. I resolve to soar to heights. Pious potsherds say “be nice.”
Christian: PSEUDO-pious potsherds suppose prescient telescope is how their idol knows the whole. Thus there are no hands to Sovereign-swing, but only impotent eyes to behold the thing. Whether otiose spectator or permissio efficax — NEITHER are true Sovereignty; BOTH are nefarious nonsense. To Isaiah ten, please get thee hence.