As I am preparing for our day of fasting tomorrow I again was thinking about our current events. I was reminded of the saying that if we don’t remember history we are doomed to repeat it. I looked up the original message and found an early 20th-century philosopher and writer coined it and I copy it here.
‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’
The quote is most likely due to writer and philosopher George Santayana, and in its original form it read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Santayana was known for aphorisms, and for being a professor in philosophy at Harvard which he abandoned. Prior to that, Santayana attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College, where he studied under the philosophers William James and Josiah Royce.
According to Santayana’s philosophy, history repeats. The phrasing itself certainly is catchy. It’s a big one, not only because it is so common, but also because if it is true and if history, driven by human nature, is ugly (hint: it is), then this saying ought to guide our public and private policy.
This sent me to our history, 2600 years or so ago in the book of Obadiah. His name means Servant of Yahweh and the book was written around 586 BC and was about the coming judgment of Edom. Edom means red and was so named as it was inhabited by the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s red-headed brother. It seems that when Israel was being hauled off to Babylon these guys who thought they were high and mighty because of the mountain upon which they lived not only did not come to their aid but rejoice and helped the enemy take them away. God has not happy with that and said the Edom would disappear from the earth. Today the land that was Edom is included in Israel and Jordon…it is no more. As God said through Obadiah, “But the house of Esau will be stubble.”. There have been many empires created by ruthless dictators over the years but they all come to an inglorious end.
I listened to a sermon by Pastor Ron Carpenter Sunday that said we must reach out (one on one) to each other and demonstrate 1 John 4: 7-8 and love one another enough to listen to and empathize with each other by looking through their lens. We have a huge God, who created us all in His image, we ought to be able to sit down together and avoid armed conflict. God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear though the earth be removed and though the mountain be carried into the sea (Psalm 46). Well, we have enough to pray about to keep us busy tomorrow, and I intend to reach out to a brother and start a dialogue. I appreciate this group standing together each week against the attacks of the enemy, God bless you and keep you! Jim