God is a faithful employer. He does not owe wages. God will use anyone for any purpose, but it is no joy for a razor when God hires it against His own. It was God who raised Babylon against His own people, to judge and correct them, but in the end, God was angry with them for overdoing their commission (Jeremiah 50:29; 51:6,11,58). It was God who said He was hiring Assyria to ‘shave’ His backslidden people, yet in the same breadth God was expressing displeasure for their pride in thinking that it was their own intellect and strength that had given them the triumph over Israel. For their pride in not recognising their debt to God in those victorious campaigns against Israel, God said,
For this cause it will be that, when the purpose of the Lord against Mount Zion and Jerusalem is complete, I will send punishment on the pride of the heart of the king of Assyria, and on the glory of his uplifted eyes(Isaiah 10:12, Bible in Basic English).
It is not a thing to be celebrated that I am the one God hires to ‘shave’ His people for their wickedness. He could later turn against me for overdoing it, for priding myself in my ‘holier’ status, or for ridiculing them as if their inferior spirituality was what had brought the disaster upon them. If God is looking for razors to hire to shave His people, please, may He turn elsewhere. Not me. They do not usually end very well who fight God’s people, even in their iniquities. God never crowns hired razors. They might be recompensed with the spoils from their wars, but they do not usually live long to enjoy the booty, especially when they boast themselves against the afflicted, rather than pity them, and when they think that God is thus ‘using’ them because they are holier and better.
From The Preacher’s diary,
November 29, 2014.