God believed that the Israelites needed to know the past. Human beings still need to know the past. Christian writer C.S. Lewis wrote during the mid 20th century. In his book, The Weight of Glory, he warned of problems that occur when people quote “isolate the mind in its own age.” That warning is packed with truth.

How foolish we are when we “isolate the mind in its own age.” When we surround ourselves with only today’s news and today’s tweets and today’s posts, we starve our hearts, minds, and souls. (slowly) Our hearts, minds, and souls need the wisdom and knowledge of the past to inform and nourish us now.

We need the wisdom and knowledge God has given us in His Word, and we need the stories of how people in the past have dealt with the same kinds of events that are in today’s news and tweets and posts. We also need God’s Word and knowledge of the past to help us handle the real day-to-day things that are happening in our own real world that are not reported, tweeted, or posted. You know what I mean—the stuff we actually live.

Concerning the Bible, the apostle Paul wrote this to Christians in Rome. In chapter 15, verse 4, he wrote: 

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

People who don’t know history can get mired in despair. People who do know history know that good things and bad things have happened over and over in history and that what is happening right now is never permanent.