ERASING THE PAST
You have probably noticed that there is a strong desire among people today to re-write history. It was common in ancient times for the army that won to completely wipe out any visage of the defeated civilization. But in modern times, this seems unusual and suspect.
You have read where the Islamic State thugs recently leveled a 1400-year-old Christian structure in Iraq as part of their relentless destruction of ancient cultural and religious sites. St. Elijah’s Monastery joins a growing list of over 100 major historic monuments, mosques, tombs, shrines, and churches in Iraq and Syria that have been ravaged.
Of course we are horrified to hear that these antiquities are being demolished by ISIS. But to some degree, we see the same selfish motives displayed in other attempts to extinguish, alter, or change history. Consider these:
1. People who use drastic means to “wash” their web footprint so no one will know what sites they have been visiting.
2. School textbooks often omit or drastically misrepresent historical events to gain some political or social advantage.
3. After World War 2, there was an attempt to cover up German atrocities and extermination camps that were built to eliminate “life that was unworthy of life.” The devious hope was to soften the truth of what actually happened
4. The current practice of the removal of Civil War Confederate emblems and statues hoping to ignore and remove the painful memories of the past.
However, the most horrendous of all attempts to erase the past is abortion. It is said of those who physically destroy the past, that they may well be enriching themselves by injury to others. Like the horrors committed by ISIS, abortion invalidates the rights of others for personal selfish gain.
The Bible teaches us to not let the past hinder out present and future life. The Apostle Paul said, “But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13) It is good to find forgiveness for past deeds, and move forward in Christ.
But the Bible also keeps in written form many deeds committed in the past, so that others will learn and do better. 1 Corinthians 10:11 TLB. "All these things happened to them as examples—as object lessons to us—to warn us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them in these last days as the world nears its end."
We are not to obliterate the past like ISIS is doing. We are to remember it, cherish the good and confess any wrongs, make proper restitution, and live a better life. Deuteronomy 19:14 ESV - “You shall not move your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set.”
The past may not always be a blessing, but because it happened, it will have lessons for the future. Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV - "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren."