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My husband is a history teacher. His passion for history has fascinated me for years. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things that I found most attractive about him. He truly believes that history is as essential as food, water, and shelter. He’d argue that it is one of the basic essentials for a healthy life. There have been times when he was able to demonstrate relationships between a seemingly neutral or isolated current event and an event that occurred generations prior.
Most, if not all, of what we read about in the paper or hear about on the evening news is directly or indirectly related to decisions made at some point in the history of our world. This theory is demonstrated when we examine things like the trends of political parties; the differences in behavioral patterns of people from varying generations, ethnicities, and socio- economic groups; or why passions on one coast are so different from the passions on another coast. What I have noticed is that my husband’s vast knowledge of history provides for him a sense of peace and calm. A lot of my concern about the aforementioned issues is rooted in a relatively shallow understanding of the history behind it all. When I settle myself long enough to deepen my knowledge base, I too, feel more calm. Knowledge really is power!
As I started reading the book of Deuteronomy, I noticed that Moses began with a history lesson. The reminder of the experiences of those who came before them was essential.
Reading verses like Deuteronomy 1:35 where Moses reminded this generation what the Lord swore to their forefathers—“No one from this evil generation shall see the good land . . .”—is hard to read! I can only imagine how hard it was to hear at the time. Who likes to dwell on such devastating events?
The purpose of this was so that they and their children would not make the same mistakes. They could choose to use this history lesson as valuable capital to cash in on their way to the victory the Lord had promised their ancestors.
I pray we do the same! I pray that we take the time to learn from our own failures and successes as well as those of others. I pray that we see all experiences as valuable and as the key to living the abundant life God has promised us.
Moses’ review of Israel’s history enabled this generation then, as well as you and me today, to make a choice: fall in the same pits of rebellion and disbelief as our ancestors or remain faithful to our Lord.
My husband believes it. Moses believed it. Believed what? That knowledge really is power. Let’s be powerful. Let’s deepen our knowledge of history by diving deeper into HIStory!