In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.
Daniel 1:1-2 ESV
Babylon took over Jerusalem, and that was a bad thing. However, Daniel tells us that was because God gave it to them. It’s not as though evil Babylon was praying to God and that God answered their prayer. And it’s not like God allows some things and leaves everything else to chance! No, Daniel says God gave Babylon the land, and he says it so quickly you might miss it, because “God giving something” is how anyone gets anything. It’s not as though God gave Babylon Jerusalem but not other cities. To say God gave them the city is the way we talk when we know God allows or prevents all the affairs of the world that happen or don’t happen. Otherwise, God is not all powerful or he is just guessing about what will happen next. The fact that God is the one who sees and allows every evil and disaster shouldn’t make us rage but should bring us comfort, knowing that he allows nothing willy-nilly, but with the precision of a surgeon. God doesn’t make mistakes. And if he is good, as we can trust he is, he allows precisely the amount of evil he desires. That is why the following scriptures bring comfort and joy rather than confusion:
“Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6).
“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10).
“I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7).
The biggest theological question, the “problem” of evil, is not such a problem when you trust the One (who allows every molecule of evil) is powerful enough to stop it, and doesn’t, because of His good purposes. He is the one who works “all things” not just some things, or most things, or just the things we perceive as good (Romans 8:28).