Read Habakkuk 1:5-7
1 The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn’t believe
even if someone told you about it.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,
a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world
and conquer other lands.
7 They are notorious for their cruelty
and do whatever they like. (NLT)
It seems that God is not too fussy about who he uses to advance his cause. The prophet Habakkuk has complained to God that those who call themselves his people are behaving in an ungodly way. God replies by saying that he knows all about it and is taking action.
What is surprising is that he is using another nation, Babylon, to take such action. God is under no illusions about the Babylonians, but they will fit his purposes well. And it did happen that the Israelites were defeated by the Babylonians and taken into exile. God’s purposes were achieved but through obviously wicked people.
This reminds us that the crosscurrents of world affairs are not outside the hand of God. While we must be very careful not to read too much into the comings and goings of the nations, we need to be generally aware that God can raise up and overthrow nations and empires if it suits his purpose.
And we must be careful not to be blind to the evil done by individuals and nations even if they in some larger way achieve God’s purposes. Just because a person or nation is used by God does not mean he approves of them. Nor should we. After all, the Babylonians were in time overcome by the Persians who in turn succumbed to the Greeks. In the affairs of nations and individuals, God is at work and God will have the last say.