Every generation proclaims itself to be superior to the previous in how it thinks and lives. The moral standards of the past are often looked down on by the present and lumped into the same category as outdated computer technology. Social responsibilities, family relationships, and worldviews always seem to be updated due to what a new generation deems to be right. It is an age-old practice which will continue until the Lord returns. But it is also a lie.
What proponents of advancement fail to realize is that while things may look a little different, there is no fundamental change. A 2022 model car may run better and a 90s model, but fundamentally, it is still a car. In summarizing the events that led to Israel’s downfall, the prophet Jeremiah identifies sins like greed (Jer. 6:13), superficiality (Jer. 6:14), and a lack of shame (Jer. 6:15). These things should sound familiar to us because they are still alive and well today. Sin may wear fancier clothes in every generation but it’s still sin.
The good news is that the solution follows the same pattern. Jeremiah said “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein…” (Jer. 6:16). Israel thought they had advanced beyond the need to walk in the ways of Jehovah. They were wrong. The old paths are the paths of God. To walk in the good way is to live out those things that have always been approved by God–even of old time. Progress is the cry of every age but often progress just means more creative ways to sin.
Every generation is urged to advance beyond the previous. In terms of things like medical technology, such is a blessing. But in terms of how we think and how we live, it is a wicked lie. Seek the old paths for, though they may be out of style, they will always be true.