William Ernest Henley wrote the poem “Invictus” in 1875 to encourage himself during a difficult time in his life. Here is the last stanza of that poem: “It matters not how strait the gate/ How charged with punishments the scroll,/ I am the master of my fate:/ I am the captain of my soul.” While this stanza may give courage in times of stress, if one is not careful, it can reflect arrogance and pride, ignoring God’s sovereignty. That was old Assyria’s problem. God had allowed them to conquer ancient Israel but they boasted of their own might. God held them accountable for their misuse of the power he allowed them to possess. We read in Isaiah chapter 10: “After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion … he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant. He boasts, ‘By my own powerful arm I have done this. With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it. I have broken down the defenses of nations and carried off their treasures.’” Even today, the proud and arrogant can expect God to humiliate them on His own time and in His own way.

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