As I shared in last week’s post, I am teaching 6-9th grade history at our local Christian school for the remainder of the year. It has been exciting to be back in the classroom and sharing truth with the students. If you haven’t read last week’s article, I encourage you to do so. You can access it HERE. It is my desire to show the students how to study and interpret history through the lens of a biblical worldview. I shared the 6 Essential Truths of a Biblical Worldview in all my classes as we began to see how one’s worldview shapes one’s understanding of the past.
After doing this, I wanted to make sure that they understood how important it is for them to study history. In the process of doing this, God taught me some very valuable lessons. In fact, how I view history today has changed drastically and I don’t ever want to fall back into the mundane pursuit of knowing names, places, dates and events when studying any area of history. Here are some of the lessons I have learned this past week when it comes to looking at history through a biblical worldview lens.
It is important to know that behind all history there is a cosmic battle being waged. This battle is between good and evil; God and Satan. I was aware of the fact that there has been a cosmic battle going on throughout all the world ever since the Fall. However, I never actually applied that reality to my study of history.
When a person suffers amnesia, he/she suffers the loss of memories, such as facts, information, and experiences. It is important to understand that when someone forgets the past or history, he/she has difficulty understanding the present. This is because history helps us interpret the present and it can shape the future. I realize that we are suffering from historical amnesia in our country today. Because this is happening, the present doesn’t make sense and the future is being shaped in the vacuum of correct history.
There are always people who are trying to redefine history. By doing this, they can then explain the purpose of the present and shape the future to make it what they want it to be. This is referred to historical revisionism. This is defined as,
The distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear to have occurred and/or impacted history in a way that is in drastic disagreement with the historical record and/or consensus, and usually meant to advance a socio-political view or agenda.
It was eye-opening to help the students understand that each one of us is guilty of doing this at one time or another. We have done something wrong and when asked if we did it, we change the actual history and present it from a distorted perspective for the purpose of trying to avoid certain consequences that we deserved because of our wrong actions.
History is important to God! That is a very simple statement to make. But, can I support this from a biblical worldview and if I can, how does that impact my understanding of history? In my study, I found that the word remember is found in 43 of the 66 books of the Bible. In fact, this term is mentioned 178 times in the Old Testament alone. This relates to the importance of history because the only thing one can remember is something that took place in the past (history). You and I cannot remember something in the future.
In order to help the students understand that history is important to God, I searched the Scripture and discovered some amazing truths. Let me share two of these truths with you in this post and I will share two more with you next week.
The first thing God showed me was this.
God works in history for one main purpose. God wants the whole world to know that He is God!
Here are just a few times when this truth is made clear in Scripture.
- When God led Israel through the Red Sea and caused the Egyptian army to follow them, He destroyed the entire army when the Red Sea returned to normal. In Exodus 14:16-18, we find why God did this. God states that He did this so that the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.
- David stood before the giant Goliath. By all human measures there was no way that David could defeat this giant warrior. However, David was confident that he would be victorious. Why? We find the answer in 1 Samuel 17:46. David said, This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and take your head from you…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
- We also looked at the battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Elijah prepared the altar, soaked it with water and then prayed to God to send fire from heaven. What did Elijah say that caused God to act? Here is what he prayed. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God (1 Kings 18:36-38)
- Another example of this truth is found in Isaiah 45:1-6. I encourage you to read this passage and see this same truth emphasized.
History is a record of God’s works!
Throughout Scripture I have read that problems always arise when God’s people forgot His works. That is why we must try to see God’s works any time we study history. Joshua made this clear when he spoke to Israel after God had brought them through the Jordan River. His words are found in Joshua 4:20-24.
And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’, then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua not only taught that a memorial pile of stones was established as a record of the work of God that allowed Israel to cross the Jordan on dry ground. He also tied this history lesson to an earlier historical record of God’s mighty handiwork that occurred at the Red Sea. Today we don’t have a pile of rocks like Joshua set up in his day. However, we have written records of history that should serve this very same purpose. Every record of history should be a memorial stone that reminds us of God’s works.
Over the next couple of weeks, the students will be studying different aspects of history. Some will study Ancient History. Another class will be studying South Carolina History. Yet, another grade level is learning about United States History. Finally, one class will be engaged in World History. Regardless of the specific course they will be studying, we are going to take every event and look for the following things.
- Can they see the cosmic battle between good and evil; God and Satan taking place in this event?
- Is there an effort to cause them to experience historical amnesia by distorting the actual historical record to further an agenda?
- How did God make Himself known as the true God in this historical event?
- What works of God are evident in what took place in this given time of history?
This week has been a powerful learning experience for me. Middle school history classes have taught me some very important lessons that helps me navigate through the difficult times we find ourselves in right now. I am more convinced than ever before that God is sovereign and in complete control of His entire creation. I confident that He is working His perfect plan to completion right on schedule. I pray my students will see history from a totally different perspective as we study the past with these truths in mind.