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There Is A Generation
by Tom Wacaster

I suppose that every generation tends to despise the younger. Maybe that’s why Paul wrote Timothy these words of encouragement: “Let no man despise thy youth…” (1 Tim. 4:12). Perhaps the same advice could be given to those whose hair is graying and health is fading, “Let no man despise thy age.”

Age tends to develop wisdom, something that is often lacking in youth simply because of lack of experience. Of course there are always exceptions. H.L. Mencken concluded, “The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” The down side of growing older is the temptation to become cynical and hyper critical of the leadership and capability of the next generation. Having now surpassed my 67th birthday and rapidly approaching the beginning of my 8th decade upon this planet, I am determined not to become overly critical, not because of the foolishness of a generation gone awry, but because I know God is in control. Someone warned, “In case you’re worried about what’s going to become of the younger generation, it’s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.” The “baby boomers” are passing the torch to generation “Y” (or is it “X”?) in preparation for their social security checks, retirement, and increasing medical bills and ill health. Like the generations now passed into the dust bins of history, these “baby boomers” are anxious about where the next generation will take them. Having aborted more than 45 million babies since 1973, the work force has reached a crisis of precisely how they are going to provide for the aging population. But they need not worry, for the medical and scientific minds that were allowed to come to full term and somehow avoid the knife of the abortionist are now seriously considering euthanasia as a viable means of getting rid of so many unwanted senior citizens (quite ironic isn’t it - or perhaps more like poetic justice). Since every generation needs wisdom, it seems appropriate to seek that wisdom from a source that is reliable - I speak, of course, of the Bible. Most of our readers know that there is a book in the Old Testament called “Proverbs.” I have been meditating on some of those pithy sayings this past week, and there was one that struck me as particularly interesting, and motivated me to pen this week’s article. Listen to the words of Agur from Proverbs 30:11-14

There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

“There is a generation” was Agur’s assessment of either his present generation or that which was soon to follow. Keep in mind that the Proverbs were written during a time of great affluence in Israel. The temptation of wealth turned the heart of Israel away from God, and plunged that nation into moral corruption, the likes of which are described in these four verses.

There is an amazing similarity between the rich and abundant years of Israel’s history, and our generation - whether we are speaking of generation “X,” “Y,” or the baby boomers. Youth have learned the language of Ashdod. Honor for mother and father have fallen upon hard times and in many instances a child is no longer afraid of parents because he knows that society will protect him from discipline. I have pity for a child, any child, who does not honor his or her parents.

This is a generation “pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” We have justified homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, lying, embezzlement, cheating, gambling, and every other ungodly act known to men while claiming to be a “Nation under God.” Why is it that we become so upset when someone suggests that we should take the words, “In God We Trust” off our currency, but seem so unconcerned about the hundreds of thousands of babies being slaughtered each year?

This is a generation that is “lofty…and their eyelids are lifted up. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2). “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them” (Pro 14:3). “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). Pride will sully the noblest of men, and bring low the mighty. It will render leaders ineffective, and destroy the good influence of all who are caught in its grip. Our generation has produced great strides in science, medicine, technology and education. But our successes and blessings have made us proud so much so that we have lifted up our eyes and declared God dead and religion a non-essential.

This is a generation whose teeth are as swords and their jaw teeth as knives. The violence in the theater has poured out into the streets, and our hatred for fellow man has found vent in the internet and “blog” pages of personal expression. A recent article in the Dallas News pointed out that web sites fostering racial hatred, fascism, neo-Nazi, and anti-Semitic mentality have increased dramatically in the last ten years.

Finally, there is a generation that devours the poor from the earth and the needy from among men. Con artists and shysters prey on the needy and elderly. From the dishonest salesman to the lying televangelist, this generation has its fare share of those whose only aim in life is to make a buck or get ahead, and the needy suffer as a result.

Perhaps this generation will run its course and the pendulum will swing the other way. I like to hope this will happen. But with every passing year, I see little hope for a generation that cares only for itself, with little interest in things eternal. Maybe, just maybe, when this generation is lying in the muck and mire of sin and ungodliness they will look to the God Who created them and long for something better and declare in hope of something better, “There is a generation…”
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