Looking out my window today I’m watching a Canadian flag move in the wind. We are actually wrapping up the year 2017, and rapidly approaching 2018. It’s hard to believe we only have one more month left in this year. What was your 2017 like? As Canadians, we had much to celebrate as the nation – the Dominion of Canada – turned 150 years old. July 1st weekend was full of many activities all across the country. It’s important to celebrate milestones, as they remind us of our history, and help us look forward into the future.
In the Old Testament people did a couple things in order to remember their heritage. I love passages that say things like, “He leaned on his staff”. This literally means they were “leaning on their heritage”. The staff was something a shepherd always had. Through the years, the staff became a “heritage” as they would carve on the staff important life events. For example, when David was getting ready to take on Goliath, he easily remembered the day he killed a lion and a bear while tending his father’s flock. Why? Because he had with him his staff, and he made note of those big events in his life. Then, when was preparing to face the giant Goliath, he encouraged himself remembering he’d fought enemies before, and won! If God was with him in the field defending the flock from bears and lions, surely, He would be with him as he faced down Goliath.
Another way of remembering history and God’s protection was in the building of what were called Ebenezer’s. We see this with Samuel when we read, “he took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He – Samuel – named it Ebenezer, saying ‘This far the Lord has helped us’” (1 Samuel 7:12). Ebenezer means a “stone of help”. Samuel set up the stone to remind the people of how God helped the nation of Israel in their victory over the Philistines at Mizpah. When the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Moses had them pick 12 stones out of the river, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. He then had the people pile the stones up once everyone crossed through the Jordan, reminding them of how God led them into the Promised Land. Not only would the stones remind them of how God was with them then, but they would serve as a reminder to the generations to come of what God did that day.
As I mentioned earlier, this year we celebrated 150 years as a nation in Canada. When stacked up beside other nations of the world, Canada is relatively young. However, that certainly did not make for a small celebration. As a nation we’ve accomplished a lot and seen a lot. But, most importantly as a nation, the founding fathers established the nation on the Biblical principle of “He will have dominion from sea to sea” (Psalm 72:8). While many do not know this fact, we cannot deny our heritage of a nation founded on Godly principles. It’s been said when we don’t know our history, we are destined to repeat it. This is a very true statement. However, over the past few months I’ve been pondering historical moves of God and made another discovery. When we do not know the historical moves of God, which in turn reveal restoration truth, we will not move forward in the blessings God wants to release to us.
A few months ago, I found myself reading from the book of Amos in the Old Testament. It’s a rather harsh book, but I did discover a promise from God. Amos 8:12 says, “People stager from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they do not find it”. As we head out of the year 2017, and into the year 2018, I sense God saying the time of searching is coming to a close. Instead of staggering from sea to sea finding no hope, when we look to God for direction, we will discover His hope and His plans and purposes for our lives. His hope fulfills and quenches our thirst.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.