“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth. There are those—how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift! There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.”
In English, each of these four verses begin with the phrase “there are those.” In Hebrew, the phrase literally says “there is a generation.” Therefore, what we have here is a description of four characteristics of a rebellious generation.
Verse 11 describes the first characteristic of a rebellious generation: Disobedient, ungrateful children who dishonor their parents and reject God’s standards. This is a generation that curses their fathers and does not bless their mothers.
The bedrock and stability of any society is a strong, two-parent family. The basic unit for passing on wisdom is the family. Proverbs makes it clear again and again in the first 9 chapters of this book that it is through a father and mother that wisdom flows to the next generation.
So, when children have disdain for their parents, God’s wisdom is lost to an entire generation. When the family breaks down, then dysfunction and rebellion will pervade the entire structure of the society.
The second characteristic of a rebellious generation: They are self-deceived. They are “clean in their own eyes.” They are a law unto themselves, and are blind to the truth that they are fallen and sinful. They justify themselves no matter how disruptive, disobedient, and destructive their behavior becomes. They become deaf to logic and reason, and are driven by reckless impulse.
This is precisely what we are witnessing on the streets of cities like Portland and Seattle. Violence and destructive behavior that is driven by defiance of authority and a profound disrespect for the property and rights of others. They claim to be protesting racial injustice, but their violent behavior reveals their true intent: chaos, conflict, and anarchy.
The third evil characteristic of a rebellious generation: They are arrogant, which is described as having "lofty" eyes. They make up their own rules. They are a law unto themselves and look down upon everyone else. Again, we are witnessing this very thing in 2020 America. They consider themselves virtuous, even while they are tearing down, burning, looting, and destroying.
The final characteristic of a rebellious generation is that their mouths are out of control and destructive. Their teeth are like swords and knives, and they seek to slash and gash with their hostile rhetoric. Again, is this not the very thing we see today with those rioting in the cities? They are quick to condemn anyone who disagrees with them as being “fascist” or “nazis” or “racist.”
I saw a video last night of an elderly woman with a walker attempting to cross a street in Toronto. She was going to a lecture by a conservative speaker, and “antifa” protestors in black masks were blocking her way and angrily shouting in her face, “Off our streets Nazi scum! Off our streets Nazi scum!”
Defiant, self-deceived, self-absorbed, and destructive. Rebellious generation indeed!