In the Old Testament, there’s a phrase the repeats at the end of the historical record of almost every king of Israel and Judah:
As for all the other events of his reign, and all he did, are they not written down in the annals of the kings of Israel/Judah?
This phrase is repeated again and again (almost 40 times!). To me, the question mark at the end of this key phrase is really more like this: These stories are all here for your benefit—are you reading them? Are you learning from them?
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” —George Santayana
But maybe we think, “Those things don’t pertain to me.” Or even, “C’mon, that’s as plain as the nose on your face! I don’t need to study that because everyone knows you shouldn’t act that way!” How about this…
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm [if you think you know it all], be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)
Some questions for us to ponder:
- Am I reading these examples?
- Am I learning from them?
- Am I reviewing my own personal history?
- Am I learning from that?
- Am I writing down my experiences (both failures and successes) so that others can learn from me?
When was the last time you learned something new from something old?