Can we learn from history?

Published 7:31 pm Friday, December 4, 2009

It has been said that history repeats itself.

Evidently that is an effort to observe the truth that throughout history people of every race, nation, culture, dynasty and empire amazingly continue to make the same mistakes.

It would seem logical that over time, people would learn from the past mistakes of others, but history seems to reveal that often that is not the case.

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There is a lesson in life that a lot of us have learned. If a dog bites us once, we say shame on the dog. But should that same dog bite us twice, we say shame on us. That is just learning from past experience and mistakes. We should also learn from the mistakes of past generations and cultures.

America still is a great nation with great freedoms and many great people and great ideas. But we can see our great nation is also making some great mistakes, the same mistakes that others before us have.

One very obvious symptom of America’s societal ills is seen painfully in the violence witnessed in many of our public schools. In the name of separation of church and state, prayer and symbolically, God was kicked out of public schools, but try as they might, they cannot seem to expel the devil.

In the past several years the United States has experienced a number of violent shootings in public schools and suffered the tragic loss of bright young Americans. While God and prayer are unwelcome, rock music, counter-culture symbols and behavior, satanic symbols, and vulgar and violent words and clothing are tolerated, if not praised. How then can we ask “Why?” when violence breaks out in the hallways of our schools?

Is the answer not painfully clear?

The problem is we do not seem to learn from the past mistakes of other nations and cultures, such as Nazi Germany under Hitler’s regime as the old Roman empire. Under Hitler, violence against Jews reigned to the sad loss of millions of lives. Yet, under the guise of freedom of speech, there is much white supremacism and Neo-Nazi culture tolerated in America.

In the great Roman Empire pleasure reigned supreme and eventually brought about the fall of Rome.

In America, the philosophy of “If it feels good do it” has once again surfaced. But which the rampant pursuit of personal pleasure seems to reign supreme in North America, the very core of all morality is crumbling. If ignored and left alone it will eventually bring America to the same place of ruin and devastation as the once great Roman Empire. We can only pray and believe that America will wake up before it’s too late.

Another question to consider is this: “Can Christians learn from past history of people in Scripture?”

God has spoken to his people throughout the ages. He is still speaking to us today, through his word, and calling sinners to repentance and calling us Christians to a deeper life.

“Jesus said Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Moses was a man who heard from God frequently. Unfortunately the people that Moses led were not as sensitive to hear the voice of God. Moses rehearsed the history of God’s blessing on Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy. He recounted the mighty Plagues brought upon the Egyptians that facilitated the deliverance of God’s people. He spoke of the 40 years of provision in the wilderness, the victories in battle, the manna and quail, and the clothing that never wore out.

In Deuteronomy Chapter 29, we can sense his exasperation with their lack of faith and their deafness to the voice of God. The eyes of the people of Israel were blind and their ears were deaf to the mighty things God had done for them.

God still is speaking to his people today.

However, only those who are listening will hear him.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1st Corinthians 1:21).