Why It’s Important to Learn the Lessons of History

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There's a quote that says "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." It's important to learn the lessons of history given by God to know and trust His will for the future.

Rev loves learning the lessons of history. He has memorized a couple of President Lincoln’s more famous speeches and interesting facts and details about many times and events.

I’m less interested in facts and details but I love learning about how people felt about them. I want to know more about feelings than facts.

Psalm 105 is considered one of the “historical” Psalms. The Life Application Bible Notes say that “these history songs were written for passing on important lessons to succeeding generations. They celebrated the many promises God had made and faithfully kept; they also recounted the faithlessness of the people.”

The Israelites repeatedly disobeyed God.

In fact, the last verse of the Book of Judges says…

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

Judges 21:25

The historical account continues in 1 Samuel with God allowing the Ark of the Covenant to be captured by the Philistines as a consequence of the Israelites’ sins. (Learn more about the Ark of the Covenant here.)

After David became king . . . it was important to him to bring the Ark home to Jerusalem. But because he was in a hurry, he didn’t take the time to learn God’s commands about moving the Ark and as a result, David lost one of his friends and close companions.

It was a lesson learned the hard way for sure. David learned the importance of knowing the lessons of history . . . the history of God’s will and His grace, mercy, and love.

The Bible shares one account after another of people failing to obey God’s will, having to live out the consequences of their sins, repenting, and receiving God’s grace and mercy from His unfailing love.

So, after learning God’s will for transporting the Ark of the Covenant, David along with the elders and generals tried once again and successfully moved it to the “special tent David had prepared for it.” That’s when they rejoiced with a party . . . and sang this song:

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness.
    Let the whole world know what He has done.
Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises.
    Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds.

Psalm 105:1–2

You’ve probably heard the quote…

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” ~ Philosopher George Santayana

Paul wrote the following…

Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

Romans 15:4 (ESV)

When we are tempted to look at our circumstances and feel like God’s presence has left us, let’s follow the advice of David from Psalm 105.

Thank. Praise. SEEK. Remember.

  • Give thanks to God. (v. 1)
  • Tell everyone about who He is and all He’s done. (v. 1)
  • Sing His praise. (v. 2)
  • Rejoice and worship Him. (v. 3)
  • Continually SEEK Him. (v. 4)
  • Remember His wonders and miracles. Understand His rulings. (v. 5)


  • He is the Lord our God. (v. 7)
  • He keeps His promises. (v. 8)

And Learn the Lessons of History.

  • From verse 9 through verse 45, David recounted the history of God’s people. From His covenant promise to Abraham, the future He promised to Isaac and Jacob, through the years in Egypt, their deliverance and wanderings in the wilderness . . . God was with His people.

He wanted them to learn from the past and to trust and obey Him in the future. The same is true for you and me today. Because the truth is, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

There's a quote that says "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." It's important to learn the lessons of history given by God to know and trust His will for the future.

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Learn the Lessons of History
and Trust God’s Love

Father, thank you so much for Your Word . . . for wanting us to know the history of Your people, for wanting us to know You, Your will, Your heart, Your love. Your Word teaches us the lessons of history that will help us learn about the past so that we might do better in the future. You want us to know the consequences of sin and the blessings of trusting and obeying You.

And most importantly, You want us to know the truth about You, about Jesus, and about the Spirit. You want us to know that You keep Your promises . . . You always have and You always will.

So, I will thank you and lift You up in praise. I will worship You for who You are and for all You do. I will SEEK You with all my heart and love You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I will trust Jesus and follow the guidance of Your Spirit. By Your grace, please help me fulfill these vows. I love You, Lord. And I give myself to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

There's a quote that says "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." It's important to learn the lessons of history given by God to know and trust His will for the future.

As I’ve thought about this today, I’ve wondered if the emotions of history may be almost as important as the facts of history.

I think God wants us to remember the feelings of failure and the consequences of disobedience as well as the feelings of peace and thankfulness for His forgiveness and the joy of His kept promises.

Part of learning a lesson is remembering the way that lesson makes us feel.

So, maybe it takes both. Maybe we need to know feelings and the facts and details of history if we want to learn the lessons of history. Maybe we need both to end the repetitive pattern of disobedience and begin the blessing of living each day in faith knowing we can trust the God who keeps His promises.

May the Lord bless you as you SEEK His will through the lessons of history found in His Word.

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  1. I’ve always loved history, Deb. There are so many lessons we can learn in order to create a better future. That’s precisely what God wants us to learn about His faithfulness and love so we can live it out completely and fully.
    Have a blessed weekend!

    1. I agree, Martha! We benefit so much when we learn from previous generations. May we pay attention and trust the Lord that we might avoid their past mistakes. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. Kathy Francescon says:

    Amen to knowing and feeling the emotions of history. I know my own history, has ordained me to never repeat those sins again. But it is through Bible History that we see the great miracles He performed to those who were faithful and punishments for those who were not. I wish everyone could read and believe the Bible. The truth of God’s Holy Word…our world would be so much better today. God’s Bible teaches us all we need, the past, the present and in the future. Thank You Deb, for the lessons you pass along to us. So much insight to things we need to read and dwell on so that we can reap the benefits of all of God’s instructions and teachings. Praying you and Rev will have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. And blessings to all the precious souls who follow your blog. May we all remember how important learning and remembering the history of our God truly is! Love and blessings to everyone!

    1. So true, Kathy! We often choose to learn the hard way …I want to learn the lessons of those who have gone before me and avoid as many ‘hard way” consequences as possible. Thank you for your encouragement, I love being able to study Scripture and learn more about the way books, chapters, and verses connect to one another. May you have a wonderful weekend filled with joy.

  3. Thank you Deb. I just read psalm 103, 104 and portions of 105 thanks to your post. God is so good, we say that but it’s important to head back to His Word to really gain deep perspective on that fact! So thank you, and God Bless????????❤️

    1. Thank you for visiting, Tinker, and for you kind encouragement. May God be with and bless as you turn to Him and study His Word.

  4. Ana Cordova says:

    How beautiful it is to learn our history and feelings of our Lord Jesus teachings so that we learn from them and not repeat. Through God’s Grace, Mercy, and love to always seek him and do his will we can be free of sin. That is why I praise, thank, and pray to our Lord Jesus to always guide me and my family, friends in our lives.
    Blessings to all the wonderful ladies who follow this blog and thank you Deb for always your beautiful prayers and spiritual words.????
    Have a great Labor Day!????

    1. I agree, Ana! I am so very thankful that the Lord loves us so much that He wanted us to KNOW our history and learn from it. He wants us to KNOW the past so we won’t repeat it. He wants us aware of the consequences of sin and the blessings of obedience. May we TRUST and OBEY Him as we learn His will and learn from the past. Thanks once again for your encouragement and for the beautiful way you add to the conversation. Have a wonderful weekend!

    2. Kathy Francescon says:

      I comments are always so uplifting and beautiful! I always enjoy reading them. They touch my heart in such a special way. Thank you so much and hope you and all those you love, have a blessed and safe weekend.

  5. Diana Neilson says:

    Thank so so much for your ability to teach and to help us knowGod is good and with us if we ask. I pray everyday for my youngest son who is going through a rough time. His son, my grandson passed away in February from fentanyl.. unfortunately he is using alcohol to dull the pain instead of asking God for help. Please pray for him and for me to find the right words.
    Keep up the great work. It is a blessing for us all.

    1. Thank you, Diana! I truly appreciate your kind encouragement. I’m very sorry to learn of your loss and concern about your son. We are praying for you and your family as you continue to go through this painful season. God be with you!