(1) For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts,
Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah
The stock and the store,
The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;
(2) The mighty man and the man of war,
The judge and the prophet,
And the diviner and the elder;
(3) The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the skillful artisan,
And the expert enchanter.
(4) " I will give children to be their princes,
And babes shall rule over them.
(5) The people will be oppressed,
Every one by another and every one by his neighbor;
The child will be insolent toward the elder,
And the base toward the honorable."
(12) As for My people, children are their oppressors,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err,
And destroy the way of your paths."
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The issue in this context concerns adults in positions of authority, but these adults never truly matured. When dishonoring parents is taken to an extreme, it produces an anarchy that will reach out to infect the community as well. "Anarchy" describes an absence of government; it defines general disorder, a time when each person does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).
Those trained in the home to dishonor parents will resist authority on every front, whether civic authorities, supervisors on the job, teachers in school, or coaches of a team. Self-centeredness stands at the foundation of this action. Those so created will pay little attention to honoring community standards because they do not respect them. Thus, they will not discipline themselves to submit to them. They always think that they know what is best for them—and for everybody else too. They will follow whatever impulse drives them, regardless of how it affects others.
This rebellious liberalism first produces an irritated grumbling in others, but it can soon build into general disorder and confusion. Ultimately, if unchecked, chaos results. In due course, a whole culture's energies are expended merely to survive, effectively destroying the development of spiritual, creative, and intellectual qualities essential to an individual's and to society's well-being. This is the very path America is following.
Immaturity is a direct result of not honoring parents. People of this mindset have a hard time cooperating because their minds are filled with insecurities, they feel they are being taken advantage of, or they feel driven to compete in everything. As they age, they feel put upon, and thus become quite defensive. Because such children are not made to respect their parents' advice, they grow up not understanding what truly works, so they lack wisdom. This failure reveals itself in self-will and self-indulgence that can be taken to the point of sheer rebellion. It condemns children to learning the lessons of life through the hard, harsh experiences of personal warfare.
— John W. Ritenbaugh