Which Selfish Generation Threatens God’s Sanctuary?
Don’t slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will become guilty. There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filth. There is a generation – how haughty its eyes and pretentious its looks. There is a generation whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, devouring the oppressed from the land and the needy from among mankind. Prov 30:10-14 (HCSB)
Could we be our own worst enemy? Could our cancerous attitudes be devouring our nation and even God’s sanctuary?
God’s Word clearly speaks about the generation that is self-serving, self-centered, and self-focused! When will we ever learn that such a period in history always leads to self-destruction? The Roman Empire imploded upon itself until its millennia empire totally collapsed because its self-created malignant cancer consumed Rome’s very heart, mind, and soul. For this very reason, we should take a serious look at the state of our nation. Will we succumb to self-manifested cancer and fall like Rome? Let us not think we will fair any different than all the great empires that have risen and fallen before or since.
The Bible records in explicit detail how the Israelites and Judahites lost their grand sanctuary city with its Temple in Jerusalem. And as if the remnant learned nothing, centuries later the pious Jews rebuilt their sanctuary city anchored with its new Temple, bigger and grander than before, but before a century passed after they crucified the Messiah, their cancerous behavior returned and their beloved sanctuary city along with its Temple was destroyed by the same Romans who centuries later would suffer the same fate to Rome, their sanctuary city. All because both the Jews and the Romans thought they were uniquely special, perfect in their own eyes.
We may be living in such a depraved generation when everyone’s focus is inward to their own wants and desires. Even avarice and gluttony fail to satisfy our own growing voracious cancer! No longer is there a sanctuary from our self. Yet, we feel we remain the envy of all other nations! Yes, we still have a lot to offer, but the people in our country have lost respect for the values that created our country. Patriotism, love for country, has been replaced by hedonism, the love of self.
Where have all the jobs gone that shaped the American Dream? Companies with their factories and warehouses once provided excellent, reliable and stable employment, but we have raised a generation no longer wanting to get their hands dirty. We believed that everyone needed and ultimately deserved a college education to share the American Dream. Unions demanded higher wages and more benefits until companies found it more profitable to go overseas so they could better compete in the growing world marketplace created by the greediness of the same people who wanted better prices to buy more things they felt they needed. Those same companies and their executives lusted for greater profits and eliminated more and more jobs while increasing their own lavish salaries. Greed feeds upon itself like cancer and the average hard working citizen in our country becomes the first victim and the American Dream evaporates.
History is plain. Unless we restore our country’s vision to the values that made us great, we will face the same results as other great nations before us. Our country needs desperately to return to seeking after God’s will, ways, and wisdom. It is time to look after one another again, rolling up our sleeves, willing to better prepare the next generation to carry the torch of the American Dream for the good of all, not on own selfish interests. We have forgotten the Golden Rule. Our focus needs to be upon caring about our neighbors, our communities, and our country ahead of ourselves. Then and only then will God then provide the kind of sanctuary that cannot be destroyed by man.
Heed the warning Jesus gave to the Pharisees and Scribes of Jerusalem: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. But WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in. WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and make long prayers just for show. [This is why you will receive a harsher punishment.] WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as fit for Â hell as you are! WOE to you, blind guides, who say, ˜Whoever takes an oath by the sanctuary, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by his oath.” Blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that sanctified the gold? Also, Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gift that is on it is bound by his oath. Blind people! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore the one who takes an oath by the altar takes an oath by it and by everything on it. The one who takes an oath by the sanctuary takes an oath by it and by Him who dwells in it. And the one who takes an oath by heaven takes an oath by God’s throne and by Him who sits on it. WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel! WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! Blind Pharisee! First, clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean. WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. In the same way, on the outside, you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. WOE to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, and you say, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have taken part with them in shedding the prophets’ blood.” You therefore testify against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins! Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell? This is why I am sending you prophets, sages, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues and hound from town to town. So all the righteous blood shed on the earth will be charged to you, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Â I assure you: All these things will come on this generation! Matt 23:12-36 (HCSB)