(Raiders of Our Past!)
Let’s suppose for just a couple minutes that you go to bed one night and when you wake up in the morning you have partial memory loss – a little amnesia. You vaguely remember getting up in the middle of the night for a drink of water, spilling some on the floor and slipping on it. Ugh – did you fall and hit your head? You can’t quite remember but there’s a big bump on your forehead . Ouch – better get that checked out.
You get dressed and drive to the hospital where they hand you a clipboard with pages of questions — necessary and valuable information they will need before they are able to treat you. But you draw a blank. Nothing comes to mind: no family history, no medical history, no past events. You feel lost and a little empty inside. You suddenly feel a desperate need to sign up for Ancestry.com!
But just how important is history to a person, or of a family, or for a nation? I believe history is absolutely necessary if that person, family or nation is going to survive and thrive! No ones history is perfect but what is history if not an account of the past; the good, the bad and the ugly. As Maya Angelou so apply put it: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
All throughout the Bible, from Genesis right through to Revelation, you will read of the magnificent history of mankind with God’s hand punctuated throughout the ages. Righteous, noble, and moral behavior from some while countless others walked out corrupt, evil, and criminal behavior. But we read and learn, hopefully repeating the good and carefully considering the warnings and lessons from the bad.
Interestingly, it was George Orwell who penned this powerful truth: “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” You can read for yourself the countless dictators who have destroyed nations by wiping out their history; one of the most recent casualties being Venezuela. Statues were taken down, street names changed, new voting structors put in place and a new police system instituted. The result: chaos and destruction!
Jesus captured it perfectly when He said this in Matthew 12:25: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation (ruin) and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” This applies to a divided marriage or a divided work place or even a fractured sports team! Will we be able to stand through these turbulent times? Only if we unify around truthfulness and honesty. It’s our choice at this point.
In the Old Testament (Joshua 24) we find Joshua standing before a crowd of people when a tough choice had to be made. Go with the good or go with the bad? His famous statement still rings true for those of us who would step over the line to choose the good. Here’s what he said: “….choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” He had learned from history that siding with all that God stood for was the best move he could make for his family!
The history of the Bible clearly shows that the human race desperately needed a Savior, but it took history to fully expose what John 3:16-17 tells us: “For God expressed His love for the world in this way; He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life…God sent His Son to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.”
So the choice is ours – both for God and country! As Edwin Markham says: “Choices are the hinges of [our] destiny!”
Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet. For more information you may contact them at DPCityChurch.com.
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