“The people did not turn to him who struck them; they did not seek the LORD of Armies” (Isaiah 9.13).
Historically, Israel sought after foreign alliances to deliver them from trouble. Actually, the LORD used these foreign powers to punish His people. They obstinately refused to seek for the LORD or turn to Him when chastised. Sound familiar?
The writer of Hebrews speaks of earthly fathers who chasten their children in a way that seemed best to them (see Hebrews 12.5). That is, an earthly father doesn’t always chasten in a profitable way. But God’s chastening and correction are profitable. They lead us farther down the road of holiness. Of course, this is true of believers. What about nations?
God still judges nations today. He has been patient and merciful with the United States of America. But God is just and righteous. He will judge our country for our collective sin. What will stop God’s judgment and displeasure? Genuine revival and not hypocritical, religious lip service are a must. We must collectively turn from our sin and to the Savior. “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more” (Isaiah 1.4-6).
God still judges individuals today. Some people know this and respond in humility when corrected by God. They genuinely repent by turning away from their sin and to the righteousness of God. They know that God wins in the end. He will exact a toll on those who continue to sin against Him. But if we turn to God with our whole hearts, we will have His favor again. If we won’t, our misery and torment in this life simply serve as a guarantee of greater misery and torment in Hell. Every single person will answer for his or her own sins. Jesus said, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13.3). “Who among us shall dwell with devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings” (Isaiah 33.14)? I pray that it won’t be you. As Jesus taught, “Fear [God] who, after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him” (Luke 12.5)!