“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.” Psalm 78:7, NLT
2nd Sunday-New Hope, Glorious Past!
There are no people groups in the world that have survived, if they failed to do two things: Honor their past; and embrace change and hope for the future. There are some tribal groups in Biblical times, who became an extinct civilization. The Canaanites were such a group. They were a powerful people during the time of Abraham, but after Israel possessed their land, they became a lost civilization. Recently some 33 major people groups, including subgroups, have disappeared off the earth. The common factors that contributed to the demise of these people groups, were their inability to understand their past, and a failure to leverage what they learned, to build a future. In most instances, these groups neither encouraged nor developed a sense of hope about their future. This is why Psalm 78:7 is so important! Israel was told the recognition of the historical events of past years was an assignment for all generations. New generations were especially held accountable for perpetuating the community’s history and hope. Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” At least 71 times in the Scriptures are the faithful told to “remember” the past. Any people group on the planet will become extinct if it fails to know its history. The identity of any people is inherent in its knowledge of the past. When the patriarch Joseph was dying, he instructed his sons to have his body embalmed and placed in a coffin. Joseph wanted this to occur, because he knew that conditions in Egypt would change, and future generations would again settle in their ancestral home. When the Israelites left Egypt, so did Joseph’s remains. The departure and the coffin, were symbols of Israel’s new hope and glorious past!