A seventeenth-century history professor Alexander Tyler from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland made some interesting observations about the world’s greatest civilizations. He noted that the average life span of these civilizations were about two hundred years. During those years, a nation advanced through various stages. A nation would progress from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage. (Goodreads.com). The universality of this trend although remarkable is not surprising considering what the bible says about mankind. That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us, Ecclesiastes 1:9-10. Also, consider the words of the apostle Paul; No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). For all our differences, mankind is still prone to engage in the same things irrespective of generation or location.
Our nation is two hundred forty-four years old; well past the age of many other great nations. It is a fair assessment that it has progressed in line with Mr. Tyler’s observations. The current stage in which we are is definitely in the realm of complacency or apathy. Complacency is defined as self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. (Merriam-Webster) On the other hand, apathy is described in the following way: a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern. (Merriam Webster) This nation has successfully bred and nurtured a culture of self-satisfaction. Phrases like, “my rights,” “women’s choice” or “pro-choice,” “love whom you want” and “get yours” sum up the mindset that permeates our societies. Many, even some Christians are wholly given to the idea of satisfying every selfish desire with little to no regard for consequences. Recently I witnessed a woman giving testimony of her transition to a man. This is not new, but the level of perfection that this process has reached is astounding. If I did not know this “man” used to be a woman I would never be able to tell. Mankind is no longer bothered by ethical concerns; science is a tool used to fulfill the most obscene desires (Cf. Romans 1:30). In a society where you can do whatever you want, the outcome is never favorable.
Biblical history records the same type of attitude and its consequences in vivid detail. In the days of Noah complacency was commonplace. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, Genesis 6:5. Man’s heart was set on fulfilling every wicked desire. Note Genesis 6:2 carefully, they took wives (plural)for themselves of all whom they chose (unrestrained). There was no limit to how many wives they took, they had as many as they desired. Nothing was prohibited; nothing was denied, and every selfish desire was satiated. The consequences were a total collapse of civil society and the subsequent destruction of the world (Genesis 6:8).
Complementing this nation’s complacency is the apathy that clothes her like a garment. When everyone is concerned only for self, apathy is a natural progression. Our society simply does not care about others and when they do show concern it is only with a view of promoting or satisfying their desires. Babies are brutally murdered in the womb even after birth and the suffering of others is recorded for entertainment value. Recently multiple people including children were murdered as people “protested” a brutal murder. Once more this is not new. Of the heathen nations, Paul said they were, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, and unmerciful (Romans 1:31). The result of these attitudes was a certain fiery second death (Cf. Romans 1:32)
This nation finds itself in the same disposition as many other nations before it. It is foolish to think that its continuing profligacy will bring a different result than what happened in Noah’s day, with Israel (Cf. Judges) or with so many other nations. This nation is paving the path to its destruction. Do we wish it? No (Cf. Jonah 4:11 & Ezekiel 33:11). Do we hope we can effect change? Yes (Cf.1 Timothy 2:1-3). Do we pray for God’s patience? Certainly (2 Peter 3:9). We must remain steadfast in our hope and resolute in God’s ways. Even though this nation further corrupts its soul, our inward man is renewed day by day (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:14). Remember, even though we are in this country we are not of this country. Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20). Our path is not one of destruction, but life everlasting (Romans 6:22)!
“A Quote by Alexander Fraser Tyler.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/108530-a-democracy-cannot-exist-as-a-permanent-form-of-government.
“Complacency.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/complacency.
“Apathy.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apathy.