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The Wisdom of Geezers

Click here to read I Kings 12 on BibleGateway.com

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Admittedly, bashing our culture is pretty much the bread-and-butter of bloggers Net-wide.  It seems like any moron can pick an issue or two, write some gibberish online about it, and get a viral post of out it.  That’s certainly the hope here.  It would be a shame if the world would be deprived of the awesomeness of this post because of some new emphasis on “quality” or “adequateness.” So let us begin. Today’s focus of pseudo-rage: youthiness.

There’s little doubt that our culture is obsessed with youth. Back in the good ole days of yesteryear, men actually wore powdered wigs to appear older and wiser.  Today we inject our faces with chemicals in an arguably futile attempt to appear younger.  Watch the cast (or commercials) of just about any primetime television show, and you’ll notice lots of 20-somethings, a few 40s, and maybe a humorously outdated grandpa to illustrate how out-of-touch the soon-to-be-buried are.

The question we have to ask ourselves is “why?”  Why do we want so desperately to hang on to our youth?  C.S. Lewis, describing a not-so-admirable character, said “She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can.”  It seems that our whole society has not only accepted this perspective, but in many ways glorifies it. “Immature” is no longer a cause of concern, it’s a badge of honor.

READ MY LIPS

Lest you feel sad that our poor society is so far gone, unlike those golden days of yore, let’s look at Rehoboam in I Kings 12.  Rehoboam is the son of Solomon, who had instituted a rather heavy tax burden on the poor Israelite people.  When Rehoboam becomes king, a delegation of the oppressed comes to the palace to seek some relief.

Rehoboam, showing at least a little wisdom, asks for three days to consider.  He asks first the elderly advisors that had long served his father.  Their advice is relax the taxes, thereby winning the favor of the people in the long run.  Rehoboam then turns to his bestest buddies, the guys who had grown up with him in the palace, and asks their advice.  Let’s not forget that these guys had probably benefitted from Rehoboam’s wealth in the past; is it really surprising they would want the money trucks to keep rolling in? They advise Rehoboam to not only raise taxes, but to do it aggressively.

So now the new king has a choice: listen to the voice of experience or the voice of excitement; the old geezers or the young pups.  Unfortunately, Rehoboam went with his cronies, and the nation was split apart, never to be re-united.

BACK IN MY DAY…

The problem here is not that young people are always wrong and old people are always right ( though the older one becomes the more one may endorse such a viewpoint. Just saying.) but rather that Rehoboam listened to people that would allow him to profit at others’ expense, because that fed his selfish desire.  Isn’t this the heart of the youth obsession?  As a child, you want to do what you want, when you want, and the consequences can take care of themselves another day.  As a mature person (hopefully), you realize the damage that selfish decisions can do, and therefore know that you can’t always do whatever you want.

When was the last time you saw a beer commercial with 40-year olds in it?  Why is that?  Possibly because the fun of drinking when you’re in your 20s has led to some not-so-fun consequences in your 40s? Consequences that advertisers possibly don’t want you to consider? *

The Bible says that the darkness hates the light; sin doesn’t not want to consider the end result.  Since Adam and Eve first chose their own menu, we have tried to avoid anything that may restrict our desires. As people with a sinful nature, we don’t want to be reminded of the consequences of our actions.   We want to run up the credit cards, and declare bankruptcy when judgement day comes.  We want to have sexual freedom, and unfettered access to destroy the consequences of our choices.  We want do what we want, when we want, how we want, and with no one to tell us otherwise.

Isn’t that the definition of childish?

*This post is not a rant against alcohol, but it’s just an obvious example.  Unless you share this post a bunch of times to voice your rage.  Then it’s all about that.

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