Starting in Isaiah 10, we see Israel being unfaithful and committing evil deeds like enacting evil statutes, recording unjust decisions, depriving the needy of justice, etc. God, speaking through Isaiah, tells of Israel’s coming judgment and “the devastation that will come from afar”. God uses Assyria to punish Israel.
However, starting in verse 5 (and going to verse 25), we see that Assyria gets proud in this role as punisher thinking it has accomplished this victory by its own greatness. God’s anger turns toward Assyria. Isaiah tells those who hear his prophecy that when God is done punishing Israel, he will punish Assyria and that there will be a “remnant of Jacob” that that will return.
Let’s go to Romans 11. Verses 17-21 speak of some branches of the natural olive tree being broken off and some wild olive branches being grafted back in replacing the natural branches. Israel is the original olive tree, while non-Jewish believers would be the “wild olive branches.” Paul warns the wild branches to not get proud that they have been grafted in because if God did not spare the natural branches due to unbelief, He would not spare them either if they become proud.
Israel got proud. Assyria became proud. Gentile believers were warned about getting proud. I know that I have to fight feelings of pride even about good Christian things. When God allows us to participate in His great and glorious plan (perhaps through leading another person to Christ, doing missions work, teaching Biblical truths, preaching God’s Holy Word, etc.), sometimes Satan likes to mix things up and tempt us to be proud even about these activities.
Look again at Isaiah 10:15,
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.
The imagery is magnificent! That verse shows just how silly it is when we get proud because God uses us to do His will. Let us remember Proverbs 15:33,
The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility. -- “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12