Sunday, March 19, 2017

Psalm 78 - Those Who Don't Learn History...

...are doomed to repeat it. The saying by George Santayana was originally stated as "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Since Wikipedia says Santayana was an atheist he may not have been familiar with Psalm 78, but if he had read it he would have seen this. (This is a shortened version of vs.1-7. If you haven't read them yet you should.)

We're going to tell you the praiseworthy things that the LORD has done. He commanded that we teach his laws to our children and their children so they would trust in God and not forget what He had done and would keep His commandments.

After the opening verses Psalm 78 recounts the history of the children of Israel. The psalmist says we should teach our children so they WON'T repeat the history of their ancestors.

8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.

We need to do the same thing. We need to teach our children and grandchildren the ways of the LORD. Tell them how great He is. Teach them the history of Israel and let them see how the Israelites 10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.

If we and our children don't learn from the mistakes of the Israelites we are doomed to repeat it.

You should do this with your own history too. It's is definitely more personal and relate-able when it is YOUR story. Teach your children the good things you have done as you followed the LORD and about His greatness. Don't be ashamed to tell them your mistakes. They don't necessarily need to know all the terrible details, but let them know how your life was messed up when you turned away from God and how He put it back together when you returned to Him. (If that's your story.) In both cases tell them that you are telling them these stories so they will follow you in the good things and avoid your mistakes. 

Bottom line:
Teach your children history so they aren't doomed to repeat it. 

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