Jonah 1:8,9--Then they said to him, “Tell us who is to blame for this trouble we’re in. What is your business and where are you from? What is your country and what people are you from?” He answered them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh, the God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.”
Mike Courts purchased two books and sent them to me, The Book That Made Your World and This Book Changed Everything, both by Vishal Mangalwadi. I’m more than half-way through the first book and am thrilled by the research, clear logic and superb writing by Vishal in establishing how the Bible created the soul of western civilization. It is a potent testimony to why it is critical that we accurately understand history. Furthermore, it gives a warning shout to what is happening today by liberals and radicals engaged in a concerted effort to revise and rewrite history to their own liking and agenda so as to undermine our nation’s constitution and way of governance founded on Biblical principles.
Ezra 4:19,20--I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. (NIV)
The word history, used in both Ezra 4:15 and 4:19, is translated by the combination of three Hebrew words, yôm, min, and ālam which when combined mean long history. The people who inhabited Israel during Judah’s time of exile, were not happy with the resettling of Jews and their rebuilding Jerusalem. Therefore they sent a letter to King Artaxerxes from the “region west of the Euphrates River” (4:11), warning him of Jerusalem’s history of sedition hoping that he would issue a cease and desist order. The king decreed that a search be conducted and, after hearing the city’s history, ordered that the rebuilding should stop until he issued a further decree. It was a discouraging blow to the Jews that fortunately was overturned later by King Darius (6:8-12).
I cite this passage to show that even those who resist God understand the value of understanding history and to their credit at least were honest in applying it. If we don’t know our true past or the role of the Bible in shaping who we are today and teach it to our children, we are doomed to fall to the ideology of those who reshape education and define values. It would seem that very few people invest the time to truly research and understand history as Mr. Mangalwadi does. Ironically, his book is dedicated to the “Honourable Arun Shourie, member of Parliament and Former Minister to the Government of India for his criticisms of the Bible which prompted Mangalwadi’s search for truth and the writing of his book.
If history matters, clearly understanding history really matters! Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for not knowing and for not correctly understanding Scripture (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:24) as it related historically to Him and to God’s plan. Our challenge is to know God’s Word and to understand it’s power yesterday and relevance today. If we fail in this we lose the ability to shape tomorrow. May we say with the Psalmist, “I consider days of old, years long past” (Psalm 77:5). The Apostle Paul advised, “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures” (Romans 15:4).
The people are the ultimate guardians of their own liberty. History, by apprising them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future. It will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men.—Thomas Jefferson
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
My son Bryan was invited to share his story at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He was one of two featured speakers on a night when almost every participant in the room shared some kind of disability. Disabilities included Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), asthma, depression, cancer, arthritis, etc. Each person was asked to write a poem about their challenges and to highlight what was bad as well as what was good. Then, throughout the evening, volunteers could come to the front of the room and share what they wrote.
My parents are living on a farm in Zolfo Springs with my brother Nate and his wife Melissa. Recently, their guard dog Shepherd went missing. Less than a week later, Nate’s longtime companion, Minnie, was hit and killed by a truck on the road outside their home. As my parents were out walking alongside a ditch looking for Minnie, a car stopped and the driver asked what they were looking for. A conversation ensued in which the driver asked about getting permission to fish in the farm. Dad explained that he was the owner and he would agree for Alex and his wife Elisa to fish as long as they were willing to let him share with them about Jesus. They decided that was a fair arrangement and after fishing a couple of times at the pond and catching nice Bass, Alex one afternoon sat down on the farm porch and conversed with Dad about John 3:16. He ended up placing his faith in Jesus.
Matthew 6:10—Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
It would be interesting to take a poll in order to discover how many of God’s children suspect that He does not hear them when they pray. I would guess the percentage might be fairly high. Personally, I’m convinced that God does listen to us when we pray. He has acted in many instances in direct response to a plea from my heart. I’ve felt His hand on my life protecting me and giving me strength knowing full well that others were praying for me. I’ve seen Him answer my parent’s prayers or other family members with specificity that is thrilling. I’ve watched Him heal suffering people through prayer. I’ve seen Him bestow peace to those in the midst of horrible pain and turmoil. He hears!
Wolfgang Simson was scheduled to speak to church leaders in Cairo, Egypt at 5:45 P.M. His contact arranged for a taxi 45 minutes ahead of schedule and gave the cabbie the address. Thirty minutes later they arrived but it was not the right place. The only Arabic Simson could speak were the words for left, right, straight ahead and counting from one to ten. The German knew he was in trouble and quickly prayed for help. God answered immediately telling him to prophesy to the taxi driver. Simson protested, “Lord, I-I’m Lutheran and I don’t even know which direction it is.”
There are those who scoff at the reality of demons. The whole notion of religion or the existence of God seems like relics of an antiquated belief system. Tell that to the four men who on September 20, 2011 stood around Vlad and prayed for him, watching as he writhed on the ground as one and then another demon left him. Two days later Vlad called Dad and said he was again under attack. So the two met near my parent’s home and walked together up a nearby mountain.
Acts 2:12,13--They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What could this be?” But some sneered and said, “They’re full of new wine!”
It is my goal to read 24 books each year. Part of this discipline involves choosing books that cover a wide range of subjects. There is no end to the number of good books one can read. Scientists tell us we use so little of our brain. I discovered how little my brain was when I journeyed into the realm of Probability and her cousins Electrical Engineering and Thermal Dynamics. But I also learned how much greater my mind could be stretched than I would have dared imagine. It is better to be challenged in what is difficult than to be difficult about being challenged.
Matthew 23:23,24--Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!
Is there anything mankind cannot accomplish? Pick up a newspaper and you are likely to find an advertisement for a seminar hosted by a professional motivator who will take your life to new dimensions with his or her “can’t lose” methods. Christianity is not immune from this phenomenon. The hot message today revolves around “You can do it—and we’ll show you how!” There is a subtle danger to this approach . . . The how or what takes priority over the who!