Week 3 – April 1
I was a history major in college. I’ve always loved history. It’s a part of my DNA. One of the mantras of any good historian goes something like this: “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” Now the question is, why?
The simplest answer for a simpleton like me is because people never change. Repetition is part of being human. You see, we struggle with the same sins, the same temptations, the same grandiose and far-flung aggrandizements of ourselves as those who lived 4,000 years ago. We are sinful people… failing to love God and failing to love our neighbors. Given this quagmire, it doesn’t really shock any of us that we step into the same foul-smelling actions and heart-motives as those who have gone before us.
So what is a person--a sinful human being like you and me--to do? Well, we certainly need help from the outside. A rescue. A savior. We need God to do for us what we can’t do. That part’s not ours to work out; it’s a gift that flows out of saying to Jesus, “I need help!” But there is a part for you and me to play. What’s that? Well, it’s an action and a purposeful learning exercise.
The action: To turn around and look backwards (i.e., we are all called to be historians).
The learning: To study the people of Israel and to not do a lot of what they did… and… to do a lot of what they didn’t.
Take a look at Psalm 95:8 again: “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did AT MERIBAH, AS THEY DID AT MASSAH IN THE WILDERNESS.” Those were historical places and events the psalmist is calling us to remember and learn from. I’ll leave the historical footwork to you…