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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Looking back to the good old days

Ecclesiastes 7:10 Don’t say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not ask wisely about this. (World English Bible, public domain)

We often say, or think, about the "good old days," before there was so much traffic, or when money was worth more, or our health was better, and when, we often think, people were less nasty and sinful. I've done it myself.

I'm not sure how far to take the advice of the writer of Ecclesiastes, whoever that may have been, to stop doing that. It's pretty clear that the book takes a dim view of a lot of things! It is also true that the Israelites were often reminded, in various ways, that they were better off when they were worshiping God as they should have, and that they should return to that attitude. But at least one aspect of the statement quoted is true. We can't go back. Even if the old days were better than our present circumstances, we aren't going to be able to live in them again. Things and people decay and disappear. Things and people change. We change. We can learn from the past, we are deeply influenced by it, we can even be inspired by it, but we live in the present, for the future.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your present, and live for your future.


atlibertytosay said...

I've always looked at this in respect to II Peter 2:21

"It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them."

I think the Ecclesiates passage says also, don't desire to be ignorant like you once were.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, atlibertytosay.

I think we still have a mandate to make the gospel known (and I'm not saying you don't think that we do!).

Ecclesiastes says a lot, and I don't think I understand it all.