History – What Good Is It?


Let’s start with the word itself – history.  This is speculation on my part, but not far fetched.  His Story, and  we’ll drop the second “S” and combine the two words, and voila, we have History.  With that in mind, we are talking about what someone observed or experienced and passed on verbally or in writing for future generations to have knowledge.  Why is history relevant?

Let’s take an obvious example just to make a point.  A person sees fire for the first time, and out of curiosity, puts their hand into the fire only to be burned.  The memory of the experience of being burned by the fire now becomes history.  That person, if they are in their right mind, will not put their hand in the fire again – they learned from the experience.  As the “burned” person has children, they don’t want their children to get burned, so they tell them the fire is hot and it will hurt.  They will even slap their child’s hand to sting them and let them know what pain is, so the more severe pain and injury from fire can be avoided.

Amazingly though, the child may still put their hand in the fire, and then they learn from first hand experience.  First hand experience is a great teacher, but, not necessarily the best teacher.  Do you want first hand experience as to what it’s like to drown or jump off a 100 foot high cliff on to rocks below?  That’s a rhetorical question, but this is an effort to make a point.

Therefore, there is only a weak (or even no) argument at best as to why someone should not listen to someone who has had an actual experience for which there was empirical evidence that either good or bad things resulted from that experience.  If only one person has had an experience, then it may not be sufficient to have solid veracity for others.  On the other hand, if 100’s or 1000’s or even millions of people have had first hand experience, then it develops a strong, maybe even absolute, quality of truth.

At some point in time, this “truth” has to have some way of being transmitted to others by way of verbal or written communication, so that subsequent generations do not have to suffer needlessly by getting “first hand experience”.

Initially, mankind did not have any way to record history except to pass it on through verbal lessons – dictation, parables, stories, wall art etc.  During that time in mankind’s history, people were not distracted by TV, radio, books, video games etc., and some of their memories were very precise and faithful.  With the advent of paper and ink and subsequently computers, history could be recorded. preserved and transmitted accurately and permanently for man’s posterity and for the advancement of civilization, culture, commerce, technology and morality.

Why include morality in history?  Morality is the way people behave among themselves.  Taking a human life, taking property, violating one’s body, deceiving people to believe something and give up something as a result of that deceit, destroying relationships, causing people to fight among themselves; all of these things are moral issues.  Are there such people who would perpetrate such actions?  If you don’t know the answer to that question, you must be living alone in a cave on a remote island.  The answer is obviously – yes!  Yes, war, taxes, abortion, marriage, divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, drug use, inflation/deflation, and many other aspects of life are all moral issues.  Shall we learn from history, or experience everything first hand?

People get “ripped off” (had some form of deceit and/or loss foisted upon them), or another expression used is that they get “burned”.  Have we not yet learned from either our own experience, or hopefully, the experience of others passed on in the form of history that we don’t want to get “burned”?

There are those who would talk of common sense as a way to deal with all of the moral issues, but what is common sense?  Common means more than one, or a preponderant number within a group however big the group is in which a single belief of behavior is accepted.  Sense relates to touch, feel and perception.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that no two people, let a lone a group, all “feel”, “sense”, “think”, or “believe” alike.  Therefore, common sense, at its very best, will only be viewed in light of a particular and singular issue or situation, and it will not have broad application.  Societies are complex and large, and common sense can never apply because everyone has a different sense about different issues.

Enter His Story.  His is capitalized, because it applies to the ultimate “His” the God of all creation and He is the all Powerful, Sovereign, Knowing, Seeing, Present, Just, Perfect, Righteous, Immutable, Faithful, Merciful, Loving, Kind, Eternal, Lord of lords, King of kings, God of gods; the Creator of everything that is, was or ever shall be.  A key description for this argument is “immutable”!  He doesn’t change.  On the other hand, man is always changing his mind and behavior.  Please allow for a few obvious examples.  In 1950, every state in the United States had laws on the books that made homosexuality, adultery and abortion illegal and punishable under the law.  Now they are all legal.

So, what changed – the immutable moral principles behind the law, or man’s mind and behavior?  Where did the immutable moral principles come from?  They came from the God of the Bible who laid out the law for all time.  Do not misconstrue that every law in the Bible is immutable.  The moral laws are eternally immutable.  The cultural, ceremonial and sacrificial laws of the Bible no longer have relevance other than to understand the times when the Bible was written and to point to the future of Christ’s coming.

In 1950, many of God’s Biblical/moral law principles were still in effect in America, and have since been cast aside.  As the Scripture says; Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.  Can you say that Americans are “happy ” today?  Suicide is up dramatically in the last 20 years; legal and illegal drug use is rampant; alcoholism is commonplace; bankruptcies are escalating; divorce is over the top; child molestation is eating out the core of America’s soul; inflation is ravaging people’s purchasing power; war, abortion, children born out of wedlock etc. etc. continue unabated, and corrupt greedy lying politicians rule the day!  Are these moral issues?  Are these things we could have avoided if we had learned from HISTORY?  And what is the greatest history book of all times?  The Bible is!  It’s been proven accurate regardless of what the enemies of God have told you.

As George Santayana said; “Those who do not remember the {mistakes of the} past are doomed to repeat it {them}.”  A wise saying, that experience has proven to be true.  Shall we learn from the past mistakes, or shall we repeat them?  Those who seek to dominate others and have massive ill-gotten wealth and power will want you to forget history, or they will rewrite it to suit their ends.  Be diligent in seeking true knowledge.

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