A History Lesson
“Our forefathers have told us how you drove the heathen nations from this land and gave it all to us, spreading Israel from one end of the country to the other. They did not conquer by their own strength and skill, but by your mighty power and because you smiled upon them and favored them.” (Psalm 44:2-3 LB)
The psalmist is here referring to the occasion when Joshua and the people of Israel conquered the Promised Land. But it points out a greater truth as well: all of mankind’s history has unfolded under the watchful eye of a sovereign God.
The truth is that history is made up of the individual timelines of billions of human beings interwoven during the past 6,000 years. Generations come and go, one being replaced by the next. Each one of us is part of the grand history of mankind. In my book, The Time of Your Life in Light of Eternity, I wrote the following:
From His eternal vantage point, the Lord views the history of mankind in its entirety. He sees all the powerful rulers and great dynasties in an instant. The vast epochs of times gone by lay before Him…
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8) In relation to man—the Lord is the beginning and ending and everything in between. This one sentence contains all that encompasses Time. He is the beginning of it; or, more accurately, He is the Creator of it. In the beginning, He initiated His grand program for mankind, and He will bring it to its conclusion. The very consummation of earth’s ages will be wrapped up by the Lord Himself.
When one considers all that humankind’s history has witnessed—the momentous events and all of the mundane acts of billions of souls, the great epochs of history and all of the fleeting moments of time, the great leaders and all of the common people, the Flood, the formation of Israel, the exile, the Birth and Death of Christ, the beginning of the Church, the Dark Ages, the closing scenes of Time—all of it has or will transpire under the ever watchful gaze of the Almighty.
Secular history books are written by those who only see part of the picture of mankind. Yes, they can recount world events, but what they can’t see is that man is not the center of this story. The true center of mankind’s history has been the sovereign King who has overseen it. These godless teachers are also clueless about the point of it all: individuals have been granted the opportunity to enter into a covenantal relationship with this great King which will secure them a place with Him throughout all eternity.
Yes, God’s people conquered the pagan kingdoms that inhabited Canaan so long ago, but it was because the Lord was instituting His purposes through them and for them.
And how about you? Do you tend to see God looming largely behind the scenes of your life? Or does He seem small in your daily life? Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to commit yourself to a course of action that will give Him a larger place in your life.