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17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
'...though God brought Nebuchadnezzar upon Jerusalem and Judah, Nebuchadnezzar was none the less a thief and a robber - a beast of prey let loose for a purpose, the accomplishment of which was no credit to him.
Nebuchadnezzar had no more idea he was doing a divine work than Titus had 600 years later. He was doing a divine work, notwithstanding, as we have seen. The fact, however, has to be taken with certain qualifications. Though he was doing a divine work, it was no merit in him, but the reverse. He was a mere tool so far as he was concerned - that is, so far as his aims and objects were concerned, he acted the part of a robber and a murderer, and his real objects are recognised when the time came for dealing with Babylon according to her deserts.
'...though God overrules the movements of men for the accomplishment of His own purposes, there is no interference with the moral freedom of men, and no interference with their moral relation to the acts they perform. God may use the wicked as His sword, yet are they none the less wicked, and accountable for the deeds they perform. These deeds are divine in their bearing upon those against whom they operate, but so far as those who perform them are concerned, the character of the deed is determinable by the motive which prompts them.
Ways of Providence Ch 22.