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Learning From History

Key Verse

“And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee” (Deuteronomy 10:10).

TEXT — Deuteronomy 10:1-11


The Philosopher, George Santayana is credited with the famous quote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. This has been repeated by countless history teachers in their efforts to ensure they keep their jobs. What they do not know is what George uttered later that same day: “And those who do study the past are just as likely to make the same stupid mistake as those who do not”. Why? Because, studying history is not enough; we should learn from history so we do not repeat the mistakes others made.

The children of Israel failed to learn from history, which showed in their repeated disobedience and divine chastisements. Their making of the golden calf truncated the retreat of Moses with God. After sorting out the mess they were in, Moses, at God’s command, separated the tribe of Levi, instead of the first born males, to be set apart for God’s service, for being the first to come to him in response to the call to forsake idolatry.

Moses returned to the mountain to spend another forty days, where God wrote out the Ten Commandments again, this time, on tables of hewed stones as replacement for the ones he broke. Aaron who capitulated and made the golden calf died later and was replaced by Eleazar his son as Israel’s High Priest.

Moses’ forty days and nights of fasting in this narrative is a peculiar one. He was called up to the Mount by God whose presence shielded him from hunger and thirst. In His presence, the Bible says, there is fullness of joy. We do not need similar long period of fasting to get our needs met. We need obedience and faithfulness to God and His command. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Deeper fellowship with God daily enriches our lives, strengthens our spiritual backbone and empowers us to obey God always.

Thought for the day

Obedience is better than sacrifice.
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Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
About Author - Pastor W.F. Kumuyi

Listed among “500 most powerful people on the planet” by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2013, Pastor (Dr.) William F. Kumuyi is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. DCLM started in 1973 as a 15-member Bible study group right in Kumuyi’s apartment at University of Lagos where he was a lecturer. His revolutionary Bible teaching on personal holiness and commitment to evangelism soon gained so much traction and resulted in a widespread revival.

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