In the next several weeks children will be starting back to school. This is an exciting time. It is exciting to see old friends again and to start new classes. It is exciting to get back to history class.
. . . History?!
As I think back to my school days, history was never something I was anxious to get back to. I always thought of it as a necessary evil that all children have to endure before they can get out of school.
But I have come to look at history in a different light, and it is actually exciting. All of history is “His Story.” It is the living demonstration of how God is carrying out His will and plan for His children.
The Power And Wisdom Of God
In some ways history can demonstrate the power and wisdom of God in a more remarkable way than other subjects do. In science class we study all the wonders of God’s creation. What wisdom is revealed in all the intricate details of everything God made! It is exciting to discover the marvels of what God has made and how we may become the best stewards of His creation. We learn Bible stories and see God’s almighty power over nature as He performs miracles for the sake of His people.
How amazing it is to witness God parting the waters of the Red Sea, or making the sun stand still in the sky. What tremendous power God displayed in protecting His children from the fiery furnace and from the hungry lions. How comforting to see God’s power over every sickness, over the devils, and even over death itself. What a great God we have!
In some ways, however, history is even more amazing and exciting than all this. When God performs a miracle, He “simply” interrupts the events of the world with His power and does what He wants.
All history is a demonstration of how God intricately orchestrates the virtually infinite number of events and circumstances to accomplish His will. He takes into account–and into His control–all of the personal attitudes, ambitions, and abilities of men (and even of the devils!) and uses them to work together to perfectly fulfill His divine plan.
God does not force people to do good and He never causes or tempts anyone to do evil, yet He uses man’s choices, actions, and plans and synchronizes them perfectly so that His will is done.
God At Work
This is a marvelous display of God’s power and control of this world. God tells us that He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). That includes all the decisions and actions of
nations and kings. King Jehoshaphat said in a prayer, “O Lord God of
our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” (2 Chron. 20:6)
God Himself says through the prophet Isaiah, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it” (Is. 46:9-11).
It is nothing less than utterly amazing to see how great men of history like Alexander the Great, working by his own ambitions and strategy, conquered the world. Yet Alexander was carrying out God’s plan in preparing the world for the birth of His Son.
Or how God used the heathen Romans to conquer Europe so that the gospel could be spread freely, and Europe could become a stronghold for Christianity. That, of course, spread to the new world as the Europeans migrated to the Americas. God directed the course of history so that you and I could have the gospel today and be free to worship Him in truth. How exciting and comforting it is to see God at work.
No matter what period of history you may be studying, look to see how God was directing things to work out for the benefit of His Church. You may not see any miracles performed as you study the course of history, yet God directs all events in a way that goes beyond the miraculous.
So as you go back to school, look forward to history class and watch for the ways God was working His plans.
And know that He still does the same today. Even more exciting–watch to see how God will use YOU in working out His Story!
–Pastor David Reim