“For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:4).
God’s track record is most impressive. Because of His divine sovereignty over human sovereigns, history is replete with examples of Him using powerful rulers as His pawns.
The Assyrian rulers were used as the rod of His anger and the staff of His indignation (Isaiah 10:5). Via the Assyrians, the rebellious nation of Israel was punished as per God’s will.
The Babylonian rulers, especially Nebuchadnezzar, was Jehovah’s battle-axe and weapons of war (Jeremiah 51:20). With the Babylonians, Jehovah broke nations in pieces, destroyed kings and their kingdoms, and punished wicked people (Jeremiah 51:20-23). Included in their ministry of divine judgment was the punishment of the rebellious nation of Judah.
The Medo-Persian ruler Cyrus was Jehovah’s shepherd (Isaiah 44:28). Predicted by Isaiah about a century and a half before the time of his divinely appointed ministry, he was tasked with issuing the orders to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple which Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed decades earlier.
Noteworthy in each example is the fact that once each of these ministers of God had served his divine purpose, he was punished for the unauthorized excesses and atrocities he had committed.
These worldly sovereigns were ordained by God to carry out His punishment of evil. They were also accountable to God for their own wickedness and punished accordingly by Him.