Proverbs 30:12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. (NKJV)
Agur is the writer of Proverbs 30. Who is he? I have no clue. He was probably a student of King Solomon’s. His name means “gatherer” or “collector” and nothing further about him is known other than his words in Proverbs.
In verses 11-15 of chapter 30 Agur speaks of a generation of people that aren’t exactly model citizens and paragons of holiness. One wonders which society may have observed that would engender such thoughts. His own? Some other from a distant land?
During King Solomon’s reign the nation of Israel was at its peak of power, prosperity and peace. Solomon however was also known for his oppressive tax system and massive government. I’m starting to see some parallels here… how about all you Americans, Europeans and other “developed” countries. Any of this sound familiar?
The social and political situation is obviously similar, let’s see if the personal characteristics of that generation have anything in common with today’s generation.
- 11 There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother.
Agur speaks of a generation that does not honor their father and mother; that does not hold them in Godly reverence and respect. Naturally a lack of respect for immediate authority (parents) is going to lead to a disrespect for authority in general (teachers, employers, law enforcement, etc). Do we see this today?
Mothers and fathers cannot be held blameless either. Divorce, adultery, permissiveness, abuse and a general disintegration of the family all in the name of pursuing personal happiness has left a generation of kids who hardly have a reason to respect their parents (although this does not excuse them of it).
- 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
Don’t shove your religion down my throat. You can’t legislate morality. Religion is a private matter. Separation of church and state (separate church from everything!). Don’t judge me. Religious harassment. Religious bigotry. Religious intolerance. We hear every cliché in the world telling us not to “push” God on anybody.
The vast majority of the world considers itself “good” and to question that is to be “judgmental”.
- 13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.
In so many words, these people really think they are just hot stuff. Go-getters, movers and shakers… they do it their way! God? Please. What does this generation need with God? We can take care of ourselves quite well, thank you very much. In fact, God is just an out-dated “crutch” for people who can handle life themselves!
- 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.
I have often told my children about the good old days when cartoons were innocent comedy, and sitcoms were generally harmless humor. Have you noticed the trend in entertainment today? Watch a few new cartoons or sitcoms. Besides off-color sexual innuendo, the most common humor is that of “cutting down” or “dissing” someone. In other words insults, rudeness, belittling and name calling… “getting the best of someone”.
That’s just the humorous part. What about politics, Hollywood, and sports? Trash-talkers, clownin’, talking smack…. the art of the insult has been refined to a professional skill. Talk radio, gossip columns, tabloids and critics all have teeth like razors now… fangs are consider amateur.
- 15 The leech has two daughters – Give and Give!
Endless dissatisfaction and discontent… a generation who never has enough, never gets what “they deserve” and never quits wanting “more” no matter how much they have.
It’s a good thing ol’ Agur was talking about some generation back then, and not us!
So what’s the use of pointing out the obvious similarities to our generation? Because it is important for us to recognize the enemy in order to combat the influence it has on us and our children. As well, it teaches us those things that God considers wicked. Also, God must consider it important to know and recognize because He put the observation in His Book of Books for us to study this morning!
God of Hosts, thank You for Your Holy Word and the wisdom You have preserved for us. Help us to be a generation of holiness, or at least a holy individual trying to change a generation. In Jesus Name, amen.
Contemplation: Does Agur’s words accurately reflect the society you live in? Do you give it much thought? How much influence does society have on you and your family? What do you do to counteract that influence?
Application: We can’t be passive about the spiritual climate in our society. We face a relentless onslaught of worldliness today. Like an army under fierce attack from an enemy force, we too face a spiritual war. Are you a well trained, loyal and diligent soldier?
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?