God gives us stories throughout the Scriptures, and He does not do this for purposes of entertainment. God tells us the stories of our fathers—in the Garden, in the ark, in Egypt, in the wilderness, in the promised land, in the empire, in exile, and in the return, so that we might know how to read the story we are in. The Scriptures are our primer for understanding history—not the history they went through only, but also the history that we are in the midst of shaping.
If we think that we are unique, and there never were troubles or complexities like ours, we are demonstrating just how far from unique we are. Apostasies are always this way. Stumblings and wayward wanderings always stick to the script. Honor your father and mother it says, but how can we do that, we mutter, when they are so . . . out of it. No, the fact that your fathers, and their fathers before them, always look “out of it” is the very reason the commandment was given in the first place.
Our contemporary muddle is therefore not a high and lonely destiny; it is the kind of sin that is as ordinary as dirt. We think we can absolve ourselves for the rebellion involved in our very ordinary and very grubby wanderings by describing our situation as post-something.
But why are you listening to the liar? Why do you give the time of day to the enemy of your souls? I don’t know, we say. It was dark. They were big. It was a post-situational encounter. But what our sorry generation needs is a simple, straight-up-the-middle come to Jesus sermon. But how will they preach unless they are sent?