“Tell about past events so that we can reflect on them and understand their consequences.”
We Confess! The Civil War, the South, and the Church sounds a shofar call for God’s people to move together with him and one another into a new place of freedom, a new place of living out the identity he intended for us from before the foundation of the world. If we’re stuck, held in place by something to which our predecessors tied themselves and which still ensnares us, we can’t move ahead without discovering and disentangling from that tether. In other words: To go forward, we have to look back.
God does not want us to look back longingly, to try to return to an earlier, “better” time. He does not want us to look back accusingly, to reopen and aggravate old wounds. But he does want us to see clearly what in our past still shackles us. He wants us to see — and take — the way of escape.
Isaiah 41:22 says, “tell us about past events, so that we can reflect on them and understand their consequences” (CJB). Only the true God can reveal the past in such a way that we see the fruit it continues to bear today.
As the Lord shines his light on choices of past generations, be strongly encouraged. “What is exposed by his light loses its power to bind you,” says intercessor and author Sylvia Gunter.
When God reveals our past, he always does so redemptively. Seeing today in light of yesterday, we discover how to open a doorway to tomorrow that has been locked and blocked.
Adapted from We Confess! The Civil War, the South, and the Church, © 2011 by Deborah P. Brunt. All rights reserved.