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)
Proverbs 1:32,33—For the turning away of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will live securely and be free from the fear of danger.
They said they would do it, the task well defined
But then they turned left, then right, then behind.
They scorned those in power subverting their will
When sudden calamity finished their thrills.
So don’t hitch your wagon with those who rebel
Unless you would like your pain to excel.
Proverbs 24:21,22—My son, fear the LORD, as well as the king, and don’t associate with rebels, for destruction from them will come suddenly; who knows what distress these two can bring?
Forty-four men wrote over a period of sixteen centuries sixty-six books that display coherent unity and progressive revelation from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible reveals God’s redemption plan for humanity. It offers the best leadership, marriage, child-raising, family-relations, financial, conduct, attitude, character, teamwork, physical, spiritual, emotional and wisdom-producing advice and instruction on the planet. Yet, I believe we would be shocked, if we knew how many Jesus-followers have never read through this supreme gift from God.
Jadon is almost 21 months old and being his grandpa is one of life’s great blessings. Jadon’s first word was “ball.” Virtually as soon as he learned how to walk he began kicking balls. He will walk and run around the room for quite awhile either throwing or kicking soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls (well you get the idea) and it is amazing to see his coordination. Jadon’s first phrase was “I love you” which he learned from Mark and Sarah. But his first connection of two different words was “more food.” Mentally he figured it out that more combined with food communicated that he was still hungry.
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.”
The difference between a strike and a split is but a matter of inches. If the bowling ball hits the center pocket correctly, all ten pins fall down. But if the ball veers just slightly off its intended course all kinds of crazy formations can appear to include the dreaded split where pins are left standing on opposite sides of the lane. I had my share of splits last night as the bowling ball just missed the strike zone!
Tuesday morning I was sitting next to two students in a van as we headed off towards our classes. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. The guy shared with the gal about how he was staying in a motel in Hawaii one time and saw a centipede in his room. He was told that they can bite and cause quite an infection and so it concerned him. That night as he was ready to go to sleep, he saw a gecko, an indigenous lizard. He did not realize that it is a good thing to have a lizard in his room (they eat bugs). Unnerved and unable to sleep, he had the person at the front desk move him to another room.
Nine young men sat on the hardwood court as I read to them a short sport story and then gave two applications. They listened attentively to the lesson on courage. After sharing I handed them each a copy to put in their notebooks. The practice was over but one player lingered to read the story on his own. Another stood silent as his dad animatedly discussed the paper with him. One of the mothers came and commented on how much she appreciated the character lessons.
Michael Savage, whose radio talk show grows in popularity, angrily decries the state of America. He bemoans the ascent of evil while he rudely blasts a caller he disdains. Psychiatrists in San Francisco recently met to propose that pedophilia should not be a crime and should become accepted as homosexuality was in the ‘70’s. The Voice of the Martyrs reports horrendous attacks against Christians across the planet. God’s children are horrifically tortured in China, Indonesia, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, North Korea . . . In Canada, a debate rages to outlaw portions of the Bible that contain “hate speech.”
I read an intriguing book entitled, Fit For Life A New Beginning by Harvey Diamond. It’s the first book I can remember reading about physical health. If you believe in good health, or if you’ve ever had cancer, heart trouble, or other physical ailments, this is a must read book.
Highway 58 in Virginia is a beautiful four lane road that eventually ends in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach area for those who are traveling east. Tiny towns like Edgerton and Capron straddle the road. We have crossed through a great number of small communities in our adventure across America. It’s absolutely amazing how many First Baptist Churches exist! But another most surprising pattern emerged—in town after town our eyes were drawn to the neon beckon of the local palm reader.
Nehemiah 9:19-21--You did not abandon them in the wilderness because of Your great compassion. During the day the pillar of cloud never turned away from them, guiding them on their journey. And during the night the pillar of fire illuminated the way they should go. You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold Your manna from their mouths, and You gave them water for their thirst. You provided for them in the wilderness 40 years and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.
I was driving down Lombard when a red light illuminated my dashboard with the words “Check Engine”. Now I’d be the first to admit I’m a mechanical dummy but I know that when that light comes on it doesn’t mean to pop the hood and check to see if there is still an engine in there! That cerise glow is a nonsubtle directive to get to a mechanic who can run a diagnostic test and hopefully discover why the warning message is activated without charging me an elbow and a thigh.
Have you ever asked the question, "How do I know when God is speaking to me?" I remember vividly as if it were the very day, a choice I had to make over twelve years ago. The decision involved where I was to go in serving God with an organization called The Navigators. Some of my closest friends and counselors advised me to stay in the region where I had lived for the past four years. Other close friends and family advised me to leave and serve in a region to which I had been invited. It was a very difficult time because people's emotions were stirred and strong rational thoughts were presented by both sides. I chose to go for two reasons: 1. Throughout the process I had a persistent sense that God wanted me to go. 2. God confirmed His direction for me through a Bible passage in the book of Isaiah. Looking back, it is clear that going was the right decision.