Historical Recurrence

I’ve had the pleasure of picking up the mantle of teaching World History this year. As a teacher, any time you take on a course for the first time there’s a mix of excitement for something fresh which is paired against the difficulty of prep work and learning how to best teach a new course.

The thing that has been most striking to me is how quickly and naturally the students recognize the repetitive nature of World History. From a scholarly standpoint, some call it “historic recurrence.” Students recognize it some in a U.S. History course, but you see it in nearly every chapter in World History. The question then becomes: Why is history repetitive? Why do great empires and kingdoms and nations and peoples so often fall prey to similar mistakes? Yet, new nations arise from those ashes?

The simple answer: We are predictable in our sin and God is predictable in His love. Sure, there are plenty of journals, dissertations and books written on the subject of historical recurrence. Get to the heart of it, though, and you find all the failings in history were committed by humans. As Christians we know the enemy behind it, but through human actions. It’s only by the grace of God that we have additional opportunities to rebuild and grow. That can be true both collectively as humans and personally in our journey with the Lord.

The recurrence in history then is that God’s love never fails! It always comes through. Psalm 136 illustrates this with its repetition that “His love endures forever.” I pray that you will see it in your personal life and in the World History happening around you.