“Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
I bought the lie.
Not long ago I was perusing my typical internet news sites when I came across an article on the Millennial generation. In the very first paragraph, I discovered a sickening truth; I am a Millennial. Gasp! It nearly took my breath away. For the past year, I have been on a tireless crusade to point out the foolishness of the Millennial generation. I’ve specifically focused on how their God-hating ways have infected the American Church as those of that same generation who identify as Christians incessantly attempt to drag the muck and stench of that world into the sanctuary under the pretense of evangelism.
Now, I had to face the realization that this analytical construct of generations, in particular, the Millennial generation, includes me. Being 34 years old, I’m on the bleeding edge of the Millennials, but nonetheless, I’m in. So, while this caused some consternation in my private moments, it ultimately served a useful purpose in that it prompted me to reexamine my childhood; specifically, the values into which my public education indoctrinated me. The more I remembered, the more I realized every illogical foolish agenda coming to fruition in America today found its genesis in the brains of my peers and me as Generation X moved on and the mighty Millennials moved in.
My generation has bought the lie that we can be whatever we want to be, act however we want to act, eschew the wisdom of those older than ourselves (in direct contradiction to 1 Tim 5:1), and not only understand but affirm every whimsical proclamation made by a person because, after all, we’re all unique snowflakes, and no one is ever wrong.
For a long time, I bought that lie.
But let’s not be naïve, there is truly nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The generational deficiencies rampant in Millennials has been present in previous generations as well, merely manifesting themselves differently.
The issues we face in America today are at the heart of most unregenerate men, women, and children.
So, here we are, a culture in disarray; a society crumbling under the incalculable weight of Progressivism. We face a continuous onslaught of terrorist attacks, and yet, the two most damaging attacks had nothing to do with ISIS or ISIL. The two most damaging attacks in American history were wrought by our very own Supreme Court in legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage.1 As John MacArthur has repeatedly stated, we are likely a nation already under divine judgment. It’s a difficult task to argue otherwise.
Recently, I found myself listening to a clip of Paul Washer during a recent Q&A session by way of Wretched Radio. Pastor Washer, as he is wont to do, made the astute observation that present-day America closely mirrors the description of Judah and Jerusalem who came under judgment in Isaiah 3. Our culture has been given over to little boys, women leading men, and wives raising husbands as if they were their sons because the little boys in men’s bodies revel in their sinful immaturity.
Isaiah 3:1-5 begins:
For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; (2) the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, (3) the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. (4) And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. (5) And the people will oppress one another, everyone his fellow and everyone his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable.
First of all, to emphasize his ultimate authority, God refers to himself by the title Adonai (אָדוֹן), the sovereign Lord of all, and by the mighty and warlike “Lord of hosts.”2 He then immediately begins with the judgment He is proclaiming on Judah and Jerusalem, starting with the “taking away” of a number of things, including the people’s leadership. God takes away whatever keeps His people from Him, but only so that they might enjoy his glory.3
Those of us in the United States have been spoiled. We have forgotten that stable government is a blessing from God. Much like Judah and Jerusalem, we have taken for granted even the most basic of needs for a functioning society. Just as an old man will lean upon his cane, so a nation can lead upon its leaders.
Derek Thomas astutely noted, “There are times when entire nations have been rallied by skilled statesmen whose wise policy and deft handling of affairs have led people into righteous patterns of behaviour. When a nation is about to be overthrown, God removes such leadership. He brings confusion into every area of the nation’s life: the military, judiciary, church, administration, craftsmanship (mechanical and scientific enterprise)—these are some of the areas singled out by the prophet (3:2–4).”4
Little did Mr. Thomas know at the time, eventually the most basic of all, gender, would also become confused.
As in ancient Judah, Solid leaders were replaced and the leadership roles handed to children (vv. 4, 12) and women (v. 12). It is truly a tragedy when the leadership of any nation or institution is given into the hands of the inexperienced, the incompetent, the unwise, or the weak.5
Do we not see this very pattern in America today? Through the year 2014, women had earned the majority of doctoral degrees in America for six straight years6; and that trend looks poised to continue into its 8th straight year here in 2016.
Further, verse 6 explains that having the mere appearance of qualified leadership is seized upon by the leaderless people of Judah and Jerusalem. Again, is this trend not visibly noticeable in America today? Is our country not raising up leaders with the appearance of being qualified yet proving to be anything but? How about in the American Church? Our pulpits (or stages) are filled with men – and women – who exhibit traits of massive immaturity both culturally and biblically.
It is a sign of God’s abandonment when disobedient children are in the ascendancy.7
In verse 8 we are made privy to the true reason for the fall of Judah and Jerusalem:
“For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.”
Their social collapse lies solely in their hostility toward God. As John MacArthur wrote, “They obstinately disregard God’s presence in their midst, though his nearness is the hope they ought to cherish.”8
The reality was that Judah had elevated the individual to be the measure of all things, guided by each individual’s own darkened heart. There is nothing to respect or obey, there are no principles to live or die for. Personal feeling, personal advancement, and personal autonomy are the shrines at which they worship.9 Such is modern-day America.
This is the result of divine judgment manifested in the absence of good leaders and good government.
As a country, we have provoked God to judgment. An entire generation has forgotten how to blush in shame. Our society openly parades their sin in the streets and things that were once (rightly) private are now on very public display. As the prophet points out in verse 9, “…they parade their sin like Sodom.”
As Thomas points out, “The prophet could have said that and closed the book, but like all good evangelical preachers he goes on to expose the sin; he spells it out in detail and applies it to the consciences of his hearers.”10 Isaiah goes on to call out the sins of superstition, materialism, idolatry, sensuality, sex, and self-esteem; a veritable laundry list of the sins of modern-day America.
Ultimately, just as in Judah and Jerusalem, do not be surprised if America’s destruction ends with the defeat of our men, the emptying of our land, and the plight of our women begging for a man’s protection.
Our only hope is Jesus Christ!
If society will not turn away from its wickedness; if God has chosen to judge America with a divine judgment, hold fast to Him and preach the Word to as many as you possibly can. But, even if this is judgment, God’s plan is perfect and complete.
Is there no hope for a fallen society? Do we as sinners have anywhere to turn? Of course we do! While Isaiah makes clear the horrifying end for unrepentant sinners, he also speaks of hope for those who turn to God. Like a golden thread woven through the tapestry of this book is the promise of a Saviour, the ‘servant of the Lord’, the ‘Prince of Peace’, who will save a remnant, the election of grace.11
God advances his church through a multitude of means. Those means include the winnowing of the church through periodic judgments. As Christians, we should not aspire to victimhood but we should prepare to be victims. As those times arise, those not truly among us will be sifted out and those of us remaining will have a renewed sense of the Gospel and walking in the light.
To be clear, I recognize that modern America is not ancient Judah, and that the prophetic word from Isaiah was not given with the USA in mind. However, I also realize that God’s standards never change and that, as Solomon noted, history repeats itself.
So, take heart, faithful brethren, our redemption draweth nigh. As chaos reigns around us, Jesus Christ knows His sheep and we know Him and hear his voice. Hold fast to the promises of God (Rom 1:16-17, Rom 8:28, 2 Cor 5:17, et al) and be prepared to suffer for the sake of Christ; of righteousness (1 Pet 3:14; 1 Pet 4:1–6).
God will never leave us, nor forsake us… even if he should choose to judge our nation.
- MacArthur, John. “We Will Not Bow.” 19 July 2015. Web. 06 May 2016. ↩
- MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.). Nashville, TN: Word Pub. ↩
- Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles. ↩
- Thomas, D. (1991). God Delivers: Isaiah Simply Explained. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Perry, Mark. “Women Earned Majority of Doctoral Degrees in 2014 for 6th Straight Year, and Outnumber Men in Grad School 136 to 100 – AEI.” 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 17 May 2016. ↩
- Thomas ↩
- MacArthur Study Bible ↩
- Thomas ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Ibid. ↩