“ Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? 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!” 2 Nephi 20:15
I really like this scripture.
Most of us know that 2 Nephi has a few “Isaiah Chapters” (chapters that quote the prophet Isaiah). The scripture above is from one of those “Isaiah Chapters”.
Isaiah was a very poetic prophet in the Old Testament. He actually lived around the same time that Nephi lived. It is sometimes difficult for us to understand what he is trying to teach. For example the scripture quoted above doesn’t seem very spiritual. At first glance you may think it is just about tools.
If we break the scripture down a bit, you might be able to understand why I really like this verse of scripture.
“Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith?” Basically, what this is saying is: Does an ax brag about itself (maybe strength or power) to the person wielding it? Without that person the ax just lays around.
“Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?” This is saying pretty much the same thing, will a saw praise itself to the person holding it? Probably not.
“As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up,” A rod can’t just stand up and walk away from you. I just cannot happen.
I like to think the tools in this metaphor are are like us. With help from someone else the ax may seem very powerful, but without that help it is powerless. The ax cannot cut anything with out the power of someone else.
If we are the ax or saw, then who is the one that “heweth” us? I would say the Lord.
I really like this because, with the Lord wielding us, we can have much more strength and power than on our own. We must let go of our pride and let Him use us. On our own we can’t do much. We also know that with the Lord we will not fail. We will have trials, but in the end we will be happier.
Even though the “Isaiah Chapters” are sometimes difficult to understand, just try to take a little time to understand and you can learn so much. I learned so much just from a single verse!
What is one way you might try to understand a scripture?