Do you live in an ‘evil’ generation? Or are you surrounded by nice people who live nice lives doing nice things?
How are we to evaluate the society in which we live? How do we know if we are living among evil people? The citizens of Sodom felt pretty happy with themselves, while God was standing just a few miles away ready to destroy them and their city forever. How do we know the same is not true for our cities and generation?
The Bible describes an Evil Generation, and so I want to discuss that description with you. But first, let me answer the question of how you can properly evaluate your own society.
I suggest that there are two ways to accurately evaluate the society in which you live. The first way is to have a revelation of God. The second way is to compare your society with what God says in His word. Both of these ways involve the external reference point of God.
If you try to evaluate things from your own senses you are up against the fact that your own way will seem right in your eyes. You are also up against the factor of a seared conscience that no longer feels pangs at doing what is wrong. So an external reference point is needed. That reference point should not be someone or something that is evil but something of the highest moral standing. So we refer to God.
A consistent experience in Bible history is that people who saw God instantly saw how defiled and unworthy they and their society were. So, one good way to properly evaluate your society is to “see God”.
“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5,6
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. …… Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1,5
“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:8
If we could get people to see the Lord then they would have a far higher consciousness of the evil within their society. More people would repent of their thoughts, actions and way of life.
God’s Description of an Evil Generation
The Bible gives us various references to evil generations. We have the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We have the churches Jesus rebuked in the Book of Revelation. We have the Canaanite nations which were destroyed because of their evil ways. Jesus described those who were “goats” and would go in to eternal punishment.
In the book of Proverbs, written by King Solomon, we have four verses which specifically describe an evil generation. This does not mean a particular generation in history, but a sub-group within societies.
There is a generation that curse their father, And bless not their mother.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, And yet are not washed from their filthiness.
There is a generation, oh 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.
Unpacking the Evil Generation
Let’s break down and review this list of evils which make a culture, nation or people evil. There are four separate references to “generation” and there are four different qualities which are identified as the characteristics of an evil generation.
As we investigate them, consider how many of them are part of the culture and society in which you live.
Independent and Rebellious
Those who curse the father and do not bless their mother are those who are individualistic. They are people who value their independence and individuality over their place in their family lineage. They do not see themselves as the product of generational grace, but they are determined to be their own person and do their own thing. They are happy to rebel against the wishes of their parents if they have to, so they can achieve whatever it is that they see as valuable.
Note that this kind of independence brings a curse on the earth. The prophet Malachi prophesied God’s intention to send someone to turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and sons to their fathers. If this was not achieved there would be curse on the earth.
“And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6
Those who are pure in their own eyes even though they have not properly dealt with their sins are those who are self-righteous. They are people who reject God’s standards of behaviour and who then justify themselves based on their own opinions. They are people who assert their own goodness, when they are just as human as everyone else.
These are people who “do what is right in their own eyes”, thinking their way is right, since every man’s way is right in his own eyes.
These are people who are deluded and deceived, like the Laodicean church, described in Revelation 3.
“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” Revelation 3:17
Those who have “lofty eyes” are those who are proud. They look down on others. They think highly of themselves. They do not look to the needs or concerns of others, since they are only interested in their own affairs.
They will not condescend to be entangled with others, and they are looking for their own advancement, not their service of others.
Those who devour the needy and the poor are the violent oppressors. They exploit others, and target the helpless and defenceless. They are cruel and permanently set upon taking advantage of others. They do not care who they destroy and what harm that cause, as long as they get their own ends.
How does your community and culture rate against those descriptors? Do you live among people who are Independent and Rebellious, Self-Righteous, Proud or Oppressive?
What about you as a person? Which one of those descriptions could be pinned on you?
A Good Generation
If the things Solomon listed represent an evil generation then we can invert them to describe a good generation. Maybe in doing this we will get a good description of you and the society in which you live. Hmmmm ??
The opposite of the independent and rebellious, self-righteous, proud and oppressive would be….
The Submissive, Repentant, Humble and Generous!
Now that’s a pretty good society in which to live, don’t you think?
When you look at your political leaders, popular heroes, business leaders, social influencers, sports and entertainment stars and public identities, do they tend to display the qualities of an evil generation or a godly generation?
I pray that you be part of a godly generation and become part of the process to transform your community into a blessed place to raise your grandchildren.