The Judgment of an Evil Generation; the Destruction of a Wicked People: A Parable
September 28, 2020 2:03 AM
Once there was a certain city. The ruler of the city was a noble and just man who was always on the lookout for the good of the people of his city. So the city’s residents were happy with their ruler.
Now the city was located in a geologically and ecologically sensitive place. And the ruler understood that for the long-term good of the city and the survival of its people, it was imperative that they not only dwelt in harmony with their surroundings but were also aware of the delicate balance of the place and the steps necessary to preserve this balance.
So the ruler regularly sent out messages to the city’s inhabitants on how to live safe and sustainable lives without damage to their surroundings. In addition, he also sent out warning messages whenever his ministers advised him of possible calamities and threats, including any preventive measures the city’s residents had to take to avoid the forecasted disasters.
Whenever there was a forecast for high winds and dangerous gusts, the ruler sent out alerts, and the people took heed. Whenever it was perceived that the sea was going to be rough with high waves and strong currents, people were warned to stay off beaches, and coastal areas of the city stayed on high alert. Sea walls and other protective measures were constantly checked for integrity, necessary repairs were undertaken, and more were constructed where deemed necessary. Where the ground was deemed unstable, warning signs and notices to the effect were posted, and heavy construction was prohibited. In such areas, all construction activity was undertaken in such a manner so as to be in harmony with the surroundings. When heavy rains were expected, low-lying areas were warned of flooding, vulnerable roads were closed and alternate routes were drawn up, and people expected to be in danger were relocated. Areas that were susceptible to falling rocks from the mountainside had several warning signs posted, with emergency services close at hand. Roads that tended to become slippery due to natural or man-made causes from time to time also were marked out and warned of; if necessary, even alternate routes were made known to the people.
To a nonnative, the city seemed to be sitting on an active volcano of never-ending possible threats and disasters, only one of which was seemingly enough to destroy the whole city. But all the same, this was a beautiful city with breathtaking sceneries and views, and many of the residents had dwelt in it a long time. It was their home. And as the saying goes, “There’s no place like home.”
As long as the people faithfully took heed of the warnings of the ruler and his ministers and obeyed their counsel, they dwelt safely, they and the city prospered, and all went well.
Many years passed by.
Then an evil and insolent generation rose up in the city. A wicked people who had no knowledge of the geological and ecological sensitivity of the area began to gain influence. They professed to be wise, but their wisdom was that of fools. They saw with their eyes, but they lacked perception. They heard with their ears, but they lacked discernment. Due to pride, their minds were darkened, and so they were devoid of understanding. Their hard hearts refused to receive sound counsel.
They began to stir up the people of the city saying, “People, for many, many years we have dwelt here, and our ruler and his ministers have warned us of the nature of this place. They have forecasted about the many terrible things that could happen. But has anything ever happened? Who here has lost someone in his or her family to any of their predicted disasters? By building sea walls and embankments, these wicked people have robbed this beautiful town of its lovely beaches! By their actions they have sabotaged the tourism industry, which could have brought all of us jobs and another source of income. Falling rocks? Some of us have lived here for over 20 years and traveled the length and breadth of this city, and guess what . . . we’ve never been hit by falling rocks. By scaring us with claims such as “Unstable ground” and “Heavy construction prohibited,” they are denying the economic advancement and expansion of our beautiful city! Can anyone remember the last time someone in this city lost his or her life because it was just a tad bit too windy or the sea was an itsy-bitsy too rough? Come on, people! Let’s stop being so fearful! Anybody ever slip on even one of those roads they claim are slippery? They are deceiving us and robbing us of the joy of living truly unrestricted and unrestrained lives! What these people are doing is fear-mongering to keep us under control and to maintain a stranglehold over our lives. Not one of their warnings ever comes to pass. Nothing ever happens. Doesn’t that make you wonder? Where is the predicted 10.1 earthquake? Where is the forecasted tsunami? Where is the flood we prepared for last summer? Look! We are standing here on steady and stable ground! Where is this so-called unstable ground? Where are the claimed slippery roads? You ever had an accident on those roads?”
And with many such words, they began to continually stir up the people of the city. The ruler and his ministers tried to convince their opponents of the truly sensitive nature of the place. But to no avail. Gradually, these people gained influence over a substantial section of the city’s population, and what once had been an exemplary city—a model of good governance, sustainable living, peaceful and brotherly neighbors, harmonious coexistence with nature, and wise stewardship of the land and its resources—descended into chaos, riots, violence, and ultimately, revolution.
In the revolution that followed, the revolutionaries were successful in overthrowing the ruler and his ministers and their government. They burned down the ruler’s home and killed him and his family with the sword. They hunted down his ministers as they tried to flee with their loved ones. While some of them managed to evade capture, many were captured by the revolutionaries along with their families; some of the captives were stoned, some were burned, some were crucified, and some were flogged . . . to death.
The revolutionaries then set up their own government and elected a worthless man as their leader. This new government, totally ignorant of the sensitive geological and ecological nature of the place, threw caution to the wind and did away with all the safety and preventive measures the city had undertaken over the previous years to safeguard itself from the many possible threats to its existence, claiming that those endeavors were a waste of time and money. They then resorted to an unmitigated exploitation of the place and its resources, all in the name of modernization, prosperity, and advancement. “Good times are here!” they continually proclaimed.
When the remaining wise residents of the city perceived all that had happened and was continuing to happen and came to recognize that their new leaders would not listen to them but instead only mocked them and labeled them “doomers-gloomers,” they discerned that the city was no longer a safe dwelling place and began to leave, slowly at first, and then in larger numbers. But nobody paid any attention to them. Indeed, many viewed their departure as a blessing in disguise for the city.
Over time, the delicate geology and ecology of the place was upset, and the land began to cry out. The happenings were isolated at first, but then high winds began to lash the city ever so often; the gusts became stronger. But the people perceived it not. The waves seemed stronger, the sea angrier. But the leaders understood it not. Every now and then, a tremor would be felt here and there. They were summarily dismissed. Incidents of falling rocks began to be reported, but they were explained away as a side-effect of the ongoing rampant construction activity. Accidents began to occur with greater incidence on some roads because the people had forgotten that those roads had a tendency to become slippery from time to time. There were increasing instances of flooding during the rainy season, which now seemed to always strike with a vengeance, but it was regarded as an unavoidable consequence of climate change.
The people adjusted their lives to cope with the geological and ecological changes, but they failed to discern the time, the season, and even the true nature of things. The Most High had been watching over the city to protect it from harm. As long as the people paid attention to their leaders and lived their lives in accordance with the wise and godly counsel given them, there was a divine protection upon them, and the Lord of Hosts kept every disaster and calamity away from them.
But those days were long gone. This was a wicked people—an evil generation filled with mockers, scorners, and scoffers; those with no true wisdom or understanding; who only saw with their eyes and heard with their ears but were blind and deaf to sound knowledge and true counsel. This was a people who habitually disregarded the Lord’s messages, despised His warnings, shunned His counsel, and abused and slandered His messengers. The Holy One had exercised tremendous restraint against these people and given them time to repent of their wickedness. He waited patiently for them to acknowledge their evil and turn away from their stubbornness. But they mistook His munificent grace for His divine approval of them. The Lord continued to stay His hand and not destroy the people to give them time and space to repent, but they reasoned it was His justification of their lifestyle and their decisions and actions.
When the Eternal One saw that they would not turn from their ways but only continued to harden themselves against Him, He removed His protection from the city and His grace from their lives. The Lord hardened their hearts so that they would continue in their evil ways, be consumed by their own evil, and thus be destroyed without mercy. Therefore, when the land began crying out, the people perceived it not but went about their lives as before. They did not know that destruction was upon them. It was the time and season for it, because such had been divinely decreed.
Then one day, a great but uneasy calm seemed to descend over the whole city. The winds died down. The roaring of the sea ceased. And the ground stopped rumbling. For seven consecutive days, it seemed like old times. And the people began to say, “At last, we have peace and safety!” But after seven days, as sudden and as quick as lightning streaking across the firmament, destruction came. The winds returned with savage fury. The seas roared deafeningly. The waves lashed threateningly. The ground shook violently. The land spewed consuming fire. And the people’s hearts melted with fear and became like water. The mountains began to crumble, and the rocks began to fall. The once steady ground began to sway as if drunk. And in no time, it was all over. No more was there a trace of the once beautiful city, nor was there the sound of a human being where it once stood.
Such will be the judgment of this wicked generation; such will be the destruction of this wicked people, a people whose understanding is skewed and whose judgments are flawed, a people who unrepentantly disregard the Lord’s messages, despise His warnings, shun His counsel, and abuse and slander His messengers, all the while thinking they are doing the will of the Creator.
Your destruction is coming, and in that day, in that day, you, you who refuse to repent of your arrogant ways and your prideful words and your accusations and your slander, you shall not escape to ask, “Where is the promised destruction? What happened to the forecasted calamity? Where is the fulfillment of your warnings?” It shall come upon you suddenly, and you shall not escape!
[Sometimes the Lord speaks in parables; those parables always have a message. I pondered this parable for long, after receiving it, not its meaning, but whether to share it or not, because the message is grave. However, I feel in my spirit tahat the message ought to go out, in clear language to a few but as a parable to the many. So let the wise and those with understanding receive the fullness of the message. But from the foolish and the arrogant, let the message in its fullness be hidden so that they may reject it.]
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