God handed His people over to plunderers. Assyria was waiting in the wings, ready to besiege Israel, but only by the sovereign hand of the Lord were they able to carry out their evil intentions. Assyria was always a tool in the hand of God. The Lord would deal with His sinful and idolatrous people, and though Assyria was only hungry for power, the king did not know that his heart was in the hand of the Lord, being turned whichever way He wished (Prov. 21:1).
God has used and will use even the sinful intentions of human beings to carry out His will. When Jesus went to the cross, many wicked hearts led Him there (see Acts 2:22-23; 4:27-28). But these gruesome acts were all prophesied long ago. And before they were prophesied, they were planned by the Father. Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20-21), and at the right time, He died on the cross according to the will of God (Rom. 5:6). Each evil heart that brought Jesus to the cross was used by God to carry out His plan. Though sinful man is free to carry out the desires of his heart, these desires still serve the plan of God.
How have you experienced people’s evil intent against you being used by God for your good?