Israel and Judah were punished for their sins against God by being taken as captives. After a period of captivity, a remnant of Jews returned back to Canaan . Ezra was one of the key men in the early part of restoring Israel . Here is a small portion of what Ezra said, "O my God: I am ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6). He goes on, mentions the attitude their fathers had and how they forsook the law of God, and ends with these words, "Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!" (Ezra 9:15)
Was everybody evil in Israel ? No, but the nation as a whole was sinful. Today, I realize there are righteous people. However, I am ashamed of my generation.
I am ashamed, because we are a selfish generation. We were born during a time of prosperity. Our parents gave us the very best they could afford and we came to expect the very best. We took and as a generation never said thank you. We then expect our children to give in to our needs, or at least, not be a burden to us. We expected our parents to feed and cloth our children, the schools to teach our children morality, and television to entertain them.
I am ashamed, because we then took those very blessings to "invent" evil just like the people in Romans 1:30. My generation has always had the party mentality. In college, my friends were spending their parents’ money to buy alcohol, drugs, pornography, and sex. This generation has no shame, in fact, seems to delight in its sins.
I am ashamed, because we had rather believe a lie than the truth. The older generation expected its leaders to be truthful and honest. We were taught that George Washington never told a lie, yet we expect our leaders to lie to us. We have lost the ability to be outraged. For nine months, a President lied to his wife, his daughter, his cabinet, his lawyers, and his followers. My generation made crude jokes about Bill and Monica and then acted as if nothing mattered.
I am ashamed, because we excuse sin. We look around and say, "Everybody does it!" Yes, and everybody was evil in Israel and Judah . God still punished them. God warns us not to follow a crowd to do evil, Exodus 23:2. Besides, not everybody is sinning. Not everybody cheats on their spouse, or their taxes, or in school. But my generation seems to think it acceptable.
I am ashamed, because we accept homosexuality, adultery, and fornication. It used to be if a man was divorced, he did not have a political future. We now have homosexuals in congress. Roughly half of my generation decided to just "live" with someone. We did not need a piece of paper to make us happy. So we acted like animals and had babies out of wedlock. My generation is now determined to allow homosexual marriages and demand everybody accept it as being normal. We have removed the ancient landmarks and are now adrift in a sea of situation ethics.
I am ashamed, because we are not outraged about abortions. We have been told the woman has a right to choose and the fetus has no rights. We can see life in a rock from Mars, but can not see a life in the womb. My generation will vote for a political party because of the party label and not think about Your Word. We have made a distinction between what is private and what is public behavior. King David learned that his adultery with Bathsheba was not private, but sinful.
It is my hope this generation will grow up. We will read Your Word and realize that homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle, but sin. Abortion is murder, lying is something to keep us out of heaven, and the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.
I am ashamed of some fellow Christians. My generation has not studied their Bible as they should. We have not learned to rightly divide Your Word. Some Christians have not taught their children to place God first. They have allowed their children to go to dances, wear immodest clothing, swear, and do whatever their friends are doing. We have not learned to practice hospitality to strangers and each other. We have not been concerned about the souls of our neighbors. Instead of developing into elders, deacons and Bible teachers, we have relied on the older generation to keep us going.
I am ashamed of my own shortcomings in serving You.
It is my hope You will give us time to see our faults and repent. We can still instill Your Word in our hearts and in the hearts of our children. We can be a light to those around us and the salt of the earth. You are gracious, 0 Lord, and I hope we will keep Your Word.
by Dennis Tucker
(Editor’s Note: The above article was written, shortly after the “Monica Lewinsky Affair.” The trend toward immoral behavior, situation ethics, and selfishness as accelerated and not declined. The more I think about it the more I think my generation owes the next generation an apology.)
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