Proverbs 7-8 provides the contrast between one who is faithful and one who is not. These chapters speak of the adulteress and the woman called Wisdom. The adulteress is always scheming how to gain illicit love; Wisdom demonstrates the benefits of seeking righteousness. When the master of the adulteress’ house leaves, she diligently prepares for an affair. She perfumes her bed and goes into the marketplace seeking one whom she can seduce. Wisdom calls at the gate for those who desire truth and the goodness that an upright life produces. This description of two different women applies to individuals; it also pertains to nations.
Israel for much of her history was an adulteress in God’s eyes. The Bible speaks of Israel as His wife; the church later on is Christ’s Bride. In Israel we have the wayward spouse who is never satisfied with what she has at home. Her husband has given her the best of everything, yet she is always restless, always seeking a new lover.
God delivered Israel from bondage, miraculously provided in every way for her, and even prepared a new home filled with abundance. But with her pagan past in Egypt, and what she had learned of the pantheon of other gods worshiped there, Israel could never settle down and be faithful to the only One who would ever truly fulfill her.
Just think if Israel had followed the way of Wisdom. She would have walked in righteousness and not strayed. She would have known that the goodness God provided was far and away superior to anything any other lover could give her. Israel would have known justice, peace, and abundance, and not been scattered.
Instead, the gods of the surrounding nations enticed her. Scripture describes their allure to Israel as strapping young men whose sexual prowess continually seduced her. Just as the young man described in Proverbs 7:22 acts at the seduction of the adulteress as though dumb like an ox on its way to slaughter, so was Israel in her blindness to the danger in following other gods.
Time after time, Israel followed her lust and abandoned Yahweh, her true husband. Yet, repeatedly, because of His great love for her, God brought her back and showed His steadfast kindness. The one lesson He couldn’t get across to her wayward heart and deceived mind was the ultimate penalty for one who is unfaithful. Proverbs 7:27 tell us:
Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.
Proverbs 8:35-36 echoes this warning:
“For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”
Despite God’s unending patience, He does reach a point of no return. That can mean different things in different circumstances. However, one who never learns because he or she desires a different god than Yahweh and proves it with the unrepentant stoniness of their heart, will be given what they want. It is death.
Our nation was given much by God at its founding. He blessed it more than any other nation in history besides Israel. Unfortunately, such riches and abundance often lead to apathy toward the One who provided it all. This has been our story. Since that astounding beginning when America first came into being, we’ve been on a downward slide since then. The incline of that slide has increased over the years, and of late feels like it’s almost at a 90 degree angle. We are tumbling down to the pit with almost no restraint.
But there remains a Restrainer. The Holy Spirit is still here because the true church of Jesus Christ continues living in this world. It is only because of this that literally all hell hasn’t broken out. America is hanging by a thread. When we as a nation go, the rest of the world will surely fall with us.
Is there hope for our nation? At this point in history, I don’t believe so. The hope that we have and should distribute wherever possible is that which we have in Christ. Will there be revival? For our nation as a whole, I can’t conceive of it. However, God will certainly provide pockets of renewal toward Him where the desire of faithful hearts abide.
We are in a time whereby if we are faithful and cling to Wisdom, God will do amazing things even as the darkness closes in. He is light and love. He makes a way. Through those who love Him and reflect His light to a lost world, He will use us to bring many to Christ.
This is not a time to fear and despair. It should be a season of rejoicing. Light is always brighter in the darkness. If our hearts are right with Him, and we remain faithful, how much might God delight in partnering with us in these final moments before He brings us home?