“And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50).
Generations are often stereotyped into different identities. Terms as “the greatest generation”, “the baby-boomers”, “the generation-xers”, “the millenials” and so on continue to categorize populations. Sociologists study differences between one type of generation to another type and draw conclusions about how to deal with each one. Regardless of what man may think or communicate, the Bible is clear as to the needs of any and every generation. There are some clear passages that show the real the needs of all generations. Consider three of several found in the Bible that magnify this.
- Care of God. Every generation is helpless without God. Those who have sought to fill life’s basic needs without regarding God find a meaningless, mundane existence. However, a life that recognizes God finds true purpose. Moses wrote in a psalm, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps. 90:1). It is written in another of the psalms, “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants” (Ps. 119:90-91). The care of God is over all creation. James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Paul and Barnabas proclaimed concerning God to certain pagans, “Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:16-17). Every generation needs God’s caring hand.
- Counsel of God. Every generation is ignorant without God. Man is more than just a consumer of physical things. He is also an intelligent being with an inquisitive mind. Jeremiah was more than accurate when he said, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). It is written in a psalm, “The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Ps. 33:11). Again, “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Ps. 100:5). Take the Bible out of the hearts of people and destruction exists (cf. Hosea 4:6). Find the Bible in the hearts of people and true intelligence exists (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15).
- Controlled by God. Every generation is enslaved and lost without God. Isaiah comforted the hearts of God’s reviled people by saying, “For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation” (Isa. 51:8). It is written in the psalms, “Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations. For the Lord will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants” (Ps. 135:13-14). Again, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Ps. 145:13). David knew this (cf. Ps. 146:10) as well as Nebuchadnezzar (cf. Dan. 4:3, 34). Sin enslaves (cf. John 8:34). Submission to the reign of God in one’s own life brings freedom from such (cf. Rom. 6:6-18).