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.
I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world and conquer other lands.
They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like. (NLT)
If we were in charge, we would not let the bad guys get away with being bad. We would even stop them from doing bad things in the first place. God thinks differently.
The writer laments at the sad state of the people of God. And God’s reply is not what he expected. God is going to use the “bad guys” of Babylon to teach his own beloved people a lesson or two. They will be his instruments of righteous judgement.
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This can be easily misunderstood. We need not apply this to each and every current world situation. God has the freedom to act like this now, but remember this episode involved judgement on the people of God, not the world at large.
And we must not assume God is pleased with it. He indicates his disapproval of them and they too will suffer his just judgement. The fact a person or group can be used for God’s good purposes does not mean God approves of that person or group.
We can ourselves acknowledge that an unrighteous person can be used by God but we can never become enthusiastic supporters of such a person in and of themselves.
God, it seems, has the wisdom and power to use the bad guys to bring the good guys to their senses.