Summary: Four areas in which every family must guard against decay.
11There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
13There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14There 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.
Proverbs 30:11-14 (KJV)
Someone in the church recenlty emailed me a "Wizard of Id" cartoon.
In the first frame of the cartoon the king exclaims, "The kingdom has become ethically and morally bankrupt!" His attendants agree but don’t seem to have an answer.
Later than same night the king on his palace balcony overhears cries from the streets below like, "Stop thief!" and "Stick ’em up."
The next day he reports his ongoing concern to the court jester who replies, "Wait here sire." He then returns with a book in his hand proclaiming, "Here you go sire, the complete guide to ethics!"
"Where did you get this?" the king inquired. To which the jester replied, "At the royal motel. There’s one in every room."
The Bible, whether it is placed in a motel room by a Gideon, or if its yours or mine, is our code of ethics. It has the answers to the dilemma of our families and our nation. It doesn’t take a court jester to know that!
When Solomon considered generational issues he commented on FOUR AREAS OF DECAY THAT SHOULD CONCERN EVERY FAMILY.
1. The disintegration of parenthood.
Verse 11 - There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
This verse describes those who directly disobey the 5th commandment to honor our father and mother. (Exodus 20:12) Our Heavenly Father places such great emphasis on this command that it is the first command of the second table of the law - man’s first responsibility to other human beings is to one’s parents. When we allow children to dishonor parents, we allow them to dishonor God.
Parents must train their sons and daughters to honor them. One of the best definitions of parenting I’ve heard is, "Parenting is the process of making disciples of your children." (Henry Brandt)
Max Jukes lived in New York. He did not believe in Christ, and refused to take his children to church even when they asked to go. He had 1026 descendants. 200 were sent to prison for an average term of 13 years; 190 were prostitutes; and 680 were admitted alcoholics. His family has, thus far, cost the state millions of dollars. For all intents and purposes they have made little or no contribution to the betterment of society.
Jonathan Edwards lived at the same time as Max Jukes. He loved the Lord, and made sure his children were in church every Sunday as he served the Lord to the best of his ability. He had 929 descendants. Of these, 430 were ministers, 96 became university presidents, 75 authored books, five were elected representatives and two became U.S. senators. One became Vice President of our country. His family has cost the state not one dollar, but has contributed immeasurably.
2. The tolerance for filth.
Verse 12 - There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
The word "tolerance" has become the rallying cry for the "there’s nothing wrong with anything anymore" crowd. Filth is not filth anymore, its entertainment.
In 1960, pornography was a $5 to $10 million dollar a year industry. Today it is in the tens of billions!
Decent conversational standards have been lowered tremendoously in our current culture.
Hollywood starlets will cry out for the rights of animals yet care nothing for the rights of pre-born babies.
Ours is indeed a "tolerant" culture.
3. The prevalance of pride.
Verse 13 - There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
Our culture is decaying with pride.
We are proud of our ability to kick all mention of God out of our schools.
We are proud of our promiscuity, our materialism and greed, our place in the world, our accomplishments. Our "eyelids are lifted up."
4. The Need for Greed.
Verse 14 - 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.
We suffer from "Affluenza," and the symptoms are: overwork, no time and energy left for priorities, having more stuff than we need, and just plain having too much stuff.
A fellow told me this week that he couldn’t come to church Sunday because he was remodeling his house.