Using the Wicked to Punish the Wicked


Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
6 I send him against a godless nation,
I dispatch him against a people who anger me,
to seize loot and snatch plunder,
and to trample them down like mud in the streets.
7 But this is not what he intends,
this is not what he has in mind;
his purpose is to destroy,
to put an end to many nations.
8 ‘Are not my commanders all kings?’ he says.
9 ‘Has not Kalno fared like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad,
and Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols,
kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria—
11 shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images
as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”

12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says:

“‘By the strength of my hand I have done this,
and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
I removed the boundaries of nations,
I plundered their treasures;
like a mighty one I subdued their kings.
14 As one reaches into a nest,
so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations;
as people gather abandoned eggs,
so I gathered all the countries;
not one flapped a wing,
or opened its mouth to chirp.’”

15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it,
or the saw boast against the one who uses it?
As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up,
or a club brandish the one who is not wood!
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors;
under his pomp a fire will be kindled
like a blazing flame.
17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,
their Holy One a flame;
in a single day it will burn and consume
his thorns and his briers.
18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
it will completely destroy,
as when a sick person wastes away.
19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
that a child could write them down.
Isaiah 10:3-19

God used Assyria to bring destruction against Israel and Jerusalem. That didn’t make Assyria righteous or godly by any means.

On the contrary. God used a godless nation to wreak havoc on another godless people. So, while the Assyrians might have been celebrating their victories, they were also in the Lord’s cross hairs, as it were.

That’s a misconception in general about good and evil. We tend to think that if evil was tamped down, it was because good triumphed.

That’s not always the case.

Sometimes God uses wicked people to punish other wicked people. It does not make them any less wicked. In fact, it can make them more evil because now they feel like they’re getting away with it.

However, God may still use them as instruments to punish others equally as wicked.

We do know that evil will not ultimately triumph in this world, but it could get bumpy for a while.


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