11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. 14 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.
A generation consists of a particular line of descent, of people sharing the same ancestry (Genesis 5:1). We also think of a generation as being a specific group of people living at a certain time (Genesis 7:1).
Mankind has, at various times and various locations, been in such a degraded position that he holds no convention, no tradition as sacred. The Ik tribe of Uganda were reported by anthropologist Colin Turnbull to have suffered so much that they no longer cared for their elderly or their children and acted as if it was a blessing when one died or was taken by a wild animal. In the Thirty Years War in Germany in the 1600’s some historians write that as many as 1/6th of the population of the German states was slaughtered. That would be equivalent to 50 million Americans dying in a Civil War of thirty years length.
Some estimates of the massacre of Christians by other so called Christians throughout the Dark Ages to be also around 50 million for refusing to baptize their infants, for wanting a Bible in their own tongue and working toward that goal, and for refusing to accept the Roman Catholic Mass. Millions of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, and people with physical and mental handicaps were murdered by Nazi Germany during the World War Two era. There is a generation of men and women so degraded as to make any brute beast look like a housepet in behavior.
Under God’s standard of righteousness for the ancient Hebrews there was a penalty for dishonoring your parents.
Exodus 21:15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Previously, in Proverbs this has been mentioned.
Proverbs 20:20 ¶ Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
God particularly, in verse 12, calls out those who think of themselves as pure and yet are not. They are self righteous. Other verses that have talked about someone being clean in their own eyes are;
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
The world of people is divided several ways. There are people whose lives revolve around dominating others. Their choices in vocation, entertainment, and friends all reflect their hunger to dominate others and their fear of being dominated. All of their relationships hinge on this crucial point. They are found at every level of life and are weak, pathetic little children in the body of adults, but dangerous, in that they are prone to violence, against others, themselves, or both if their false self is threatened.
Another group of people can never be wrong. They have no capacity for critical self examination. Everything they do must be right, because they did it. They stubbornly look for the smallest loophole in a dispute from which they can blame others even if the evidence overwhelmingly points to their error. By this weakness they make small conflicts irreconciliable unless someone yields to them.
There are others but these two examples will suffice. People who are so proud and full of self worship, their eyes lifted up as if they were without sin themselves. They are more spiritual than you, more manly or womanly than you are, more practical, embued with more common sense, wiser, and just all around superior people. Their personal relationships are dominated by their belief in their superiority. Cruel to parents, spouses, and children: hypercritical and overly competitive, they are never satisfied or content and believe the problem always lies in the inadequacy and shortcomings of those around them. Yet, the problem lies within themselves.
When these people manage to obtain positions of power and preeminence; in business, government, or academia they will abuse their power and privilege without fail, even if they manage to skirt the issue of being exposed for it. And they are drawn to positions of power and authority. They will attack the poorest and the most needy and those less powerful than they are, abusing them and showing their contempt for those who are dominated. The submissive in their eyes, which are those over whom they have power, are weak and stupid and the fact that they are poor and needy shows that they are inferior humans.
Their idea is that if you are poor you want to be poor. If you had any gumption you’d lift yourselves up by your own bootstraps and get ahead. Like in their personal relationships they have a desperate need for those people who are weaker than themselves but they also hold them in absolute contempt. If you are poor, one, it is your fault. Two, you must want to be poor and have made your choices with that design in mind.
These people have no true compassion or empathy for others and when they give in the church it is to make themselves look good or to justify themselves, never simply out of a heart to help those less fortunate, elderly, or in bad circumstances. All their humility is false and any opportunity to express their presumed superiority will be taken. If they are not cruel to their parents physically they will verbally abuse them. You don’t have to strike your parents to show them contempt. These people will denigrate all authority above them and yet expect those under their authority to be worshipful and submissive. Then, they will not understand how someone could show them disrespect, not seeing how they have created an atmosphere of disrespect.
Be wary of people who display any sign of cruelty and arrogance in their speech or actions, who mock others who have failed, lost, or are in desperate straits. Be wary of people who are “large and in charge”, who always want to control and dominate every action or activity in which they are involved, with false humility and humble acceptance that “someone’s got to take charge.”
They can be in the church house or the government house, the board room or the classroom. The Bible reveals them and we would do well to follow it closely.