Misremembering the Past

Solomon wrote in Eccl. 7:10 “Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” There is a tendency to misremember how things happened or how they were. Korah’s rebellion is one clear example of this in scripture, and there are lessons for us today that we can draw from this episode in Israel’s history.

We read in Num. 16:13-14 how two of the rebels (Dathan and Abiram) complained against Moses that he “brought them up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness.” Wait a minute. Egypt was a land flowing with milk and honey? Wasn’t Egypt where the Israelite children were killed, and they all were enslaved? Here is a clear case of someone misremembering the past.

What really happened was God was faithful to Himself, His Word, and His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exo. 6:1-9) that He brought them up from Egypt. Because of His love, He saved them (Hosea 11:1). So, the memory does not line up with the facts.

We have the same tendencies, though, to misremember the past. We often do this by having “the good old days” mindset. We far too often say things like “we used to fill this church building” or “I used to do Bible studies with my friends.” As long as we keep thinking in “I use to,” we will never “do so” again.

We need to guard against misremembering the past lest, in our misremembering, we miss the blessings of the present entirely.

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