28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
When a person, a people, a society, or a nation departs from the ways of God, destruction follows.
This is especially true for a person, people, society, or nation that was Christian. However, we do not confuse the destruction and wrath of God with chastisement.
Those who are sincere in the faith experience chastisement of the Lord. Although this is not pleasant, this is a good thing. As the scriptures indicate, God chastises those who he loves (Hebrews 12:6). This is not the “calamity of the wicked” or “desolation.”
We might feel as though God has turned His back on us, but He has not. He is setting us right because He loves us, and He wants to save us from our foolishness. So, if we love Jesus, we should not give up when the chastisement of the Lord comes. Maybe we experience individual chastisement or maybe we are caught up in the chastisement of a nation. Either way, we should trust in the Lord and do our best to focus on good things.
If we call on the name of Jesus, He will answer! We face our sin. We decide to do better. We turn to Jesus for forgiveness and power to overcome. We do not turn back and turn away from the Lord. Those who turn away from the Lord will perish, and they will not find any help.
Those who are not sincerely following the faith of Jesus or otherwise depart from the faith experience more than mere chastisement. They face the wrath of God.
The foolishness of godless men and women eventually comes to its full. This can happen on a lesser and greater scale, as mentioned in the beginning of this article. We can apply this to an individual, a group of people, a society, a nation, or the entire world.
When the foolishness of their own godless ways comes crashing down on them, they will see the foolishness of it all. Though God is patient and hears the repentant, His patience runs out eventually. We only have one life. When the judgment of God comes for a person, society, or nation, they will look for wisdom, but it will be too late. They will have to deal with the consequences—the fruit—of their worldly ways, which is their destruction.
I think matters are made worse when the foolish prosper and rise to power because there is no place they can go for help when the “fruit of their doings” comes into being. How much more when this happens on a global scale? When this occurs, Jesus will return with great vengeance (Revelation 14:15-20).
In all things, we should consider ourselves first. Sometimes we are our own on greatest enemy. Sometimes we have to deal with the “fruit of our doings” in some measure because Jesus loves us. However, we do not need to be afraid of evil or of the wicked. We do not need to be afraid of God’s wrath—though we should respect His power.
Jesus will keep us and avenge us, and His vengeance is not something we should be overly eager for. We should pray for those who harm us, hoping that Jesus will open their hearts to Him. If we want His wrath to come so badly, we might find His wrath directed towards us instead (I think that is in the proverbs too).
So, we work on ourselves. We face our sins and sometimes we live through troubling consequences. We do not lose faith in Jesus no matter how hard things get. We know that His wrath is not for us. Even if we were to lose our lives at the hands of the wicked or in some cataclysmic event that God brings about, Jesus will raise us from the dead when He returns to overthrow the powers of this world and establish His kingdom.
Side note: As of today, I do not believe that we are end the end times. I write this because I know my writings lately have that feel to them. I do think that our nation is at a critical turning point, and I feel that my own life is at a critical turning point as well. So, for me, I am living in a sort of “end times.” I also want to point out that Jesus does not return until “the abomination that makes desolate” is revealed. The false Christ will come first, so we should not be deceived. This side note is what I will be thinking about today.