My generation is the post- World War II generation. We are called “baby boomers” because the U.S. population exploded when the soldiers from our parent’s generation came home from war! Their generation, called the “greatest generation”, experienced the Great Depression in 1929, World War II 1941-1945, the Korean War 1950-1953, the Vietnam War 1955-1975, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the “Cold War” 1947-1991.
My husband’s parents married December 6, 1941, one day before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Sadly, the newlyweds were separated by a war. My father-in-law was shipped off for basic training several months after the wedding and served in the Pacific during the Second World War. My mother-in-law had conceived before he left and delivered his first son while he was in active duty. He met his two-year-old son when he came home at the end of the war. My father-in-law also lost both his parents during that same time period. It was a difficult time to be alive and the affects were worldwide. Women quickly volunteered to do what was considered to be “men’s work” as the men were rushed abroad to defend our nation and a world in crisis. Many worked in factories producing the metal and equipment used by our armed services oversees.
My generation has experienced the Korean War 1950-1953, the “Cold War” 1947-1991, the Vietnam War 1955-1975, Kennedy’s assassination 1963, Desert Storm 1990-1991, War in Afghanistan 2001-2014, the Iraq War 2003-2011 and the current war with ISIS. Our parents were strong disciplinarians. We weren’t coddled. It was not because we weren’t loved, but because our parents had lived very disciplined lives in order to survive. One crisis succeeded another. They were fully aware of how quickly circumstances could change so they tried to impart to us the skills that would sustain us throughout our lifetime. During the 1960’s many of my generation began to protest all forms of war, experiment with psychedelic drugs and rebel against the Word of God. They wanted nothing to do with the establishment, responsibility, or the rules our parents followed, which were meant to undergird us if we experienced similar years of crisis. The term “God is dead” surfaced and the battle cry was for freedom from all restraints. Many lived in communes where “love” was free- free from responsibility and accountability. They traded responsibility for pleasure and God’s love for self-love. The right to abort an unborn baby was made legal in 1973. It was the result of generational selfishness with little regard for others or the sacrifice others made to provide them their freedom to choose their lifestyle.
How quickly things changed. One generation was so responsible, hard-working and persevering while the very next one was irresponsible, unaccountable and rebellious. What changed? People do, but God does not! I have found that although the hearts of men change from generation to generation, God has a remnant that remains steadfast, no matter what circumstances assail them. They are a witness to a God Who never changes.
Simultaneous to those in my generation who rebelled, God was moving in another way, drawing others close to Him. There was a “Jesus Movement” which began in the late 1960’s until approximately 1973-4. Revival touched all denominations, many seminaries and college age students across the nation, drawing them to righteousness and a deep personal relationship with the “Living” God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every circumstance in life will bring one to a crossroad which requires a choice. While some chose to reject God and live without constraints, others ran to Him and sought strength, consolation and righteousness through their Savior, Jesus Christ.
King Solomon, King David’s successor, is believed to have written the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Solomon experienced God through his father David, and began his reign worshipping, honoring and serving the Lord. The Lord asked Solomon what he would like to guide him as he led the nation of Israel. Solomon could have asked for riches, armies or many other things, but instead, he asked for wisdom. His request pleased the Lord. God gave him wisdom and riches.
Solomon began to compromise as he turned from God’s wisdom to seek the wisdom of the world (mankind without God). Theologians debate whether he returned to God at the end of his life. I hope he did. Nearing the end of his life, he had learned the vanity of seeking a lifestyle solely for personal pleasure. Ecclesiastes was his warning of vanity for all who seek to live according to the wisdom of man. The heart of man is self-seeking without God. Ecclesiastes 1:18-2:1, “For in much [human] wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. I said in my mind, Come now, I will prove you with mirth and test you with pleasure; so have a good time [enjoy pleasure]. But this also was vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)!”
Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, morally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
Genesis 6:5, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.”
The Bible is filled with the history of mankind and the futility of life apart from God. The emptiness of living a self-pleasing lifestyle is extraordinarily cruel when one reaches their last days on earth. They, like Solomon, find a fruitless life provides nothing to savor in death. Solomon saw that in this world, there is “nothing new under the sun”. (See Ecclesiastes 1:9). All has happened before and will happen again. Generations may come and go, and the hearts of the people fluctuate. Their hearts deceive them and they seek the things that will perish rather than the eternal. They are incapable of knowing true meaning or purpose without God. This in an ever-changing world but it remains stable because God never changes and neither does His Word.
Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” NIV.
Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven [stands firm as the heavens].” AMPV.
Psalm 89:2, “For I have said, Mercy and loving-kindness shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness will You establish in the very heavens [unchangeable and perpetual].”
God’s unchanging Word reveals His nature, and it is an anchor for those living in an ever-changing world. No matter the generation or circumstance, God still remains the same. His Word is never outdated because it is eternal. Although man’s perspective may change from generation to generation, God’s remains the same. There is nothing to edit, modify or remove because it is everlasting.
1 Peter 1:25, “But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever, And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.”
Isaiah 40:6-9, “A voice says, Cry [prophesy]! And I said, What shall I cry? [The voice answered, Proclaim:] All flesh is as frail as grass, and all that makes it attractive [its kindness, its goodwill, its mercy from God, its glory and timeliness, however good] is transitory, like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely [all] the people are like grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
There are those in every generation who stand proudly against the Lord God and defy His rule, His wisdom, His authority and His grace. Sadly, they believe in their 70+ years of life they have learned the “wisdom of the ages”. They live, they soon die…But the Eternal Word of God lives on. It never dies, it never becomes irrelevant or obsolete. The Wisdom of all eternity belongs to those who fear the Lord and reverence not only Him, but His Word. If we want stability, security and something that will never change, then we must hope in the Eternal One. His Word was first (Alpha) and it will be last (Omega) because He is Unchanging!