Proverbs 30:11 – 20
11 There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men. 15 The leech has two daughters—Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, “Enough!”: 16 The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water—And the fire never says, “Enough!” 17 The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it. 18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand: 19 The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin. 20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wickedness.”
Agur here begins to describe a generation that has a skewed sense of reality. This generation he describes is not respectful to its parents. This generation is not realistic about its own sins, thinking it is pure when it is not. This generation is arrogant, and takes advantage of others. Agur then describes them in terms of two needy twin daughters, and names them Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied, no four. This is common way of writing lists, where the extra one is added for emphasis. So the three, no four, things that are never satisfied are listed here: the grave, the barren womb (childless mother), the dry earth, and fire. These are listed as examples of things that are insatiable, like the desires of this generation described by Agur. He then sums up this generation by going back to the first sin, their disrespect toward their parents, by saying that the ravens will pick out the eyes of this generation for their disrespect.
What an extreme statement that speaks of the seriousness of the sin of not honoring parents! I believe this speaks to a larger problem of respect for leadership and authority. While I applaud forward thinking and creativity, there is still a need to respect the truth and wisdom found in leaders, parents, God, and the Bible.
Agur then identifies three–no four–things that are too wonderful for Agur to understand: an eagle’s flight in the air, a serpent’s traverse of a rock, a ship’s passage through the sea, and the way of a man with a virgin. However, the converse of wonderful is the way of an adulterous woman. She eats and wipes her mouth like she has done nothing wrong.
This generation Agur describes is one that has strayed from, even betrayed, the ways of God and their fathers and mothers. They have become self-determinant and self-absorbed. While this does not describe all young people today, it seems the Millennial generation has adopted many of these traits and has, subsequently, begun to turn its back on God. The Millennial generation only claims 5% of its members being devout Christians, whereas 60% of the Builder generation declared faith in Christ.
This generation of which we all speak is tough, hard to crack, hard for boomers and busters to connect with, but yet intelligent, creative, tech-savvy, and valuable. We must not just condemn and decry their ways. My cry to God and the church is , “Let us determine to reach this generation with the loving gospel of Jesus Christ and make a difference in this day. Be intentional and reach out!”