June 12, 2017

Why History Repeats Itself

Written by Boyd Bailey


Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 12, 2017

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Good history tends to repeat itself when we are good students of history, and bad history tends to repeat itself when we are bad students of history. As my major in college, I was fascinated by history as it transported me into the world of Kings, armies, heroes, heroines, the birth of nations and religions. I was amazed how, by the sword, Alexander the Great led many to surrender, and remarkably how Jesus of Nazareth led by love many more to surrender to the King of Kings. My lifetime study of the past has enlarged my present and elevated my mind and heart toward God.

The Roman government blamed early Christians for losing favor with the “gods” since they worshiped Christ alone as the only true God. Paul appealed to history when he challenged the nascent church to remember the sacred Scriptures as a means for endurance, encouragement, and hope. Centuries before, the Lord’s people persevered under the severe suffering of Egyptian rule. Now, under Roman oppression, Jesus followers could hope for God’s deliverance, if not in this life, for sure in the life to come. History is His Story, illustrated by Christ’s love, death, and life.

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:12).

The foundation of a life grounded in a healthy historical worldview is Holy Scripture. When we look to the foolish example of David’s adultery, as he yielded to autonomy over accountability then contrast it with Joseph’s austere action of fleeing the flirtatious advances of an emotionally starved wife, we learn from God’s Word the wise thing to do. Hannah’s patient prayers during a time of feeling abandoned resulted in the Lord’s best, while Sarah took matters into her own hands and forced her handmaid onto her husband. Stories of faithfulness rouse faithfulness.  

Beyond the instruction of ancient history, we have the opportunity to learn from yesterday’s successes, last year’s sufferings or whatever season in life we have experienced. Our parents’ good traits, like a diligent work ethic, can inspire us. And their struggles, like an obsession over acquiring more stuff, can lead us to become more generous with the blessings from our heavenly Father. Recent history is full of eye witnesses we can read about, interview and ultimately learn from: what works and what doesn’t work. Good history has a higher probability of repeating itself if our story continues to be written within the much bigger story of God’s love for us!

“Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:7-9).



Heavenly Father, remind me to reflect and remember the fruit of Your past faithfulness, in Jesus name, amen.


From whom can I learn from how not to live and how to live?

Related Reading

Genesis 16:1-16; Exodus 17:14; Numbers 15:39; Acts 11:16; Jude 1:17

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History is His Story, illustrated by Christ’s love, death, and life. #wisdomhunters #HisStory

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