What is the truth about history?
President Ronald Reagan has many quotes but I believe these two quotes about freedom are pertinent today…
“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.“
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.“
I began thinking about his words as I read through Psalm 78.
We will not hide these truths from our children;Psalm 78:4, 7–8
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about His power and His mighty wonders.
Each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting His glorious miracles
and obeying His commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
Hilary Clinton is often quoted as saying…
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
But in light of what we’re seeing, if we want the faith and freedom President Reagan encouraged . . . it all depends upon what the village is teaching our children.
There’s another quote that says…
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” ~ Prof. George Santayana (1905)
Here are some of the reminders from Psalm 78…
- They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by His instructions. (v. 10)
- They forgot what He had done. (v. 11)
- They did not believe God or trust Him to care for them. (v. 22)
- They did not remember His power and how He rescued them. (v. 42)
- They did not remember His miraculous signs. (v. 43)
If we fail to teach our children God’s truth and the historical consequences of failing to trust and obey His will . . . they are doomed to repeat the sinful behaviors that lead to those consequences.
The Life Application Bible Notes add…
God commanded that the stories of His mighty acts in Israel’s history and His laws be passed on from parents to children . . . to help each generation obey God and set its hope on Him.
We need to teach our children and grandchildren the truth about history . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly. They need to know where we’ve failed and where we’ve succeeded. They need to know that every individual of every race and background has been created in the image of God. They need to know that God wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
Our descendants need to know that God loves them and wants them to experience the blessing of a hope-filled future.
A Prayer to Teach Our Children the Truth About History
Father God, Thank you for wanting us to know the history of this world You created. Thank you for Your Word that tells us about Your creation, Your loving care, and the truth about human nature. You didn’t inspire Biblical writers to pen a sugar-coated sanitized version of humanity . . . but an honest telling of our flaws, failures, and our need for Your grace, mercy, and love. Our need for Your forgiveness.
Without You, people are prone to sin and idolatry and ignoring Your commands. The Psalmist wrote that You directed our ancestors to teach their children Your instructions. (Psalm 78:5) The same is true today. Your Word guides us and lights the path before us. (Psalm 119:105) Your Word teaches us the truth and corrects us when we are wrong. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Your Word and Spirit show us our need to repent and reveal Your willingness to forgive. They point us to Your love . . . a love is so great that You gave Jesus, Your only Son to take the punishment we deserve.
Father, please forgive us. We often turn our attention to the things of this world just like those before us. We fail to fully teach the depth of Your promises and the importance of Your commands.
Help us guide our children to the truth about history and Your love so that they might “set their hope anew” on You. (Psalm 78) And help us not only teach them about You; help us show them Your love and the difference You are able to make in their lives.
I pray this in the name of Jesus, the One who makes all things possible. Amen.
So, what do we do to teach our children the truth about history?
- We teach them the truth of God’s Word and encourage them with His promises.
- We pray for them to KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE God.
- We set an example by living with faith, hope, and love.
- We tell them our own history of God’s love and forgiveness.
- We keep a Family Blessings Journal of God’s love.
- We celebrate Jesus every day.
Throughout history, we can see what happens when people reject God’s truth and selfishly turn to sin and idolatry. It’s true in Scripture and it’s been true ever since.
But Scripture also gives us the good news of God’s love.
“My wayward children,” says the Lord,Jeremiah 3:22
“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”
“Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply,
“for You are the Lord our God.
May we all say, “Yes, we’re coming Lord.” May we teach the next generation the truth about history and the blessings of the Lord.
Take a minute to read all of Psalm 78 . . . it will bless you.
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