I'm having difficulty dealing with prophetic parts of the Old Testament that discuss God's wrath. I understand that the wages of sin is death and before the new covenant in Jesus, God punished people for their sins by wiping them out (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19).
However, there are certain parts of the bible that talk about God subjecting people to His wrath by utilising the sins of mankind like sexual immorality and stealing, not just punishment by death. It's as though sin here is actually used as a tool to bring about God's justice, which seems unbelievable considering that sin was never God's will in the first place. Consider the following:
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land. 15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. 16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
1 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle.
I'm comfortable with God destroying people for their sins by His own divine actions, but to take advantage of sinful man to bring about His holy justice it a little bit like abetting these sinful acts. In effect, it's like saying stealing, rape and even murder can actually be Godly acts if used to fulfil His prophecies, and this makes me very uncomfortable.
Can anybody offer an explanation as to how God can bring about justice by these means yet still hate sin and remain holy and righteous? This seems like a conflict of character to me.