We Never Learn :: By Grant Phillips

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

“We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana (1863-1952)

It amazes me, and many of you, I’m sure, how far this country (USA) has strayed from the one and only true God she once confessed. Most of us have forgotten how blessed we have been, from our inception to today.

Before I go any further, I do want to be clear that our country and no other country are on an equal plane with Israel when it comes to the “apple of His eye.” We are not Israel, and to think we have replaced Israel is laughable. Israel is still God’s special people, and He has more discipline and blessings for them. One day, the entire world will respect Israel.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23).

Now that I’ve made that clear, I would like to say that it is most interesting when reading the Bible, particularly God’s dealings with Israel, and notice that many of God’s comments to Israel also fit us. I’m sure it has a lot to do with never learning from history. Mankind seems to have a short memory.

Even though this country is not special along the same lines as Israel, I do believe we are a country originally founded by God for specific purposes: i.e., freedom to worship Him, spreading His Gospel, and supporting Israel in these later years. God brought people from Europe to these shores to provide a home for those who wanted to worship Him in freedom. It is not coincidental that our Constitution has God’s fingerprints on it.

In establishing this country, not everyone was a believer in Jesus Christ, of course, but most were believers in Christ, and most practiced it. As the years progressed, keeping in mind we are a young country, Satan kept picking away at our relationship with God, until today, one wonders, “What happened?!”

The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, is replete with passages that can be applied to us individually and as a nation. By that, I mean that the passage(s) in question may not be directed to us specifically, but there is an application there for us to learn.

My wife and I were reading in the book of Jeremiah the other day, and I kept noticing that while God was talking to Judah specifically, He could have just as easily been looking to us also. Keep in mind that just because God may be talking to someone else, it doesn’t mean we take a break and leave the room. We are to examine ourselves, asking, “How can I learn from this?” I will share just a very few Scripture passages.

“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols” (Jeremiah 2:7-8).

In our beginning as a country, God gave our founding fathers virgin territory for our homeland. Our country is composed of many different types of topography. It has kept us, and the world for that matter, fed. It has provided all the fuels we need. It has kept our homeland out of world wars. It has provided all the water we need, and much more.

Is it not true that we have defiled this land by our rejection of our very inheritance from God? Do not most of our clergy mock God by their words and their deeds? Isn’t it true that our legal system has turned sour? And who can deny the rebellion of most of our political leaders against the one true God of the Bible?

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

Without a doubt, we as a nation have forsaken the “spring of living water,” which is the Lord Jesus Christ. His words have been removed from the classroom, and any other place the ACLU points their gnarly fingers. False religions have been accepted, of course, and we just make up our own religion as we go … broken cisterns you might say.

“Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.

“I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?

“Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign LORD” (Jeremiah 2:20-22).

Our rejection of God didn’t just happen overnight. It has been building over time. We started out, generally speaking, with men who loved the Bible, respected it and tried to build their lives around it, but gradually over the generations, each generation got lax, then more lax.

From the 20th century onward, we took a nosedive in corrupting ourselves before God. Every vile thought known to man has been allowed to grow and flourish.

We started out with good stock. Today we are so corrupt, the stain of sin cannot be washed off.

“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving— in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.

“Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them'” (Jeremiah 2:23-25.

If God sent a prophet today to point a finger at our politicians, the entertainment industry, the judicial system, the educators, the religious crowds, etc., they would continue to confess their love for other gods and deny every word of accusation against them. They would then call for a Senate hearing to condemn the prophet.

However, God says we’re like a she-camel instinctively chasing a mate and like a wild donkey in heat, sniffing the wind, looking for a mate. Their gods won’t have to chase her; she’ll find them, and has done so. In other words, we are neck deep in idolatry but won’t admit it.

“They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’

“How skilled you are at pursuing love! Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.

“On your clothes is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned'” (Jeremiah 2:27, 33-35).

Continuing the theme of idolatry, God says we worship everything but Him. However, when we’re in trouble, we run to Him. Remember 9/11?

God continues by saying that we excuse our sins but hold others guilty.

The Lord is telling us today, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The Old Testament is very relevant to us today. We could save a lot of agony by taking heed.

Grant Phillips

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html