History Repeats Itself in Cycles

People make history. Survival, desires, hopes and dreams drive people no matter the historical era. In primitive societies the biggest need was survival in a harsh environment that gave no quarter. As humans progressed, other things drove their progress. Nations appeared.

Sophisticated and More Wise

Modern people think of themselves as more sophisticated and more wise, but oddly enough, throughout history the same things that have built, and later toppled civilizations, remain true in modern times. Alexander Tyler, a history professor at the University of Edinburgh, noticed civilizations went through cycles of 200 years. His “Cycle of History” describes what is happening in our nation today.

Abundance

God has blessed America with an abundance of tillable land, rivers, forests, minerals, material things and a solid foundation. The U.S. Constitution is unique; our founding fathers from the Pilgrims to settlers in other colonies pledged themselves to covenants made with God. God has blessed them and us because we have from our start been God-centered.

Selfishness

Unfortunately, abundance breeds selfishness. When more is not enough, humans start looking around for what they can take from others and demanding more.

Complacency

Once a nation has most of their needs met, complacency takes place. Today’s society wants convenience, instant gratification, and things that make us feel good about ourselves; expecting it will never change.  Having “material things” we want gives satisfaction and, can lead to thinking it will always be that way. A tendency appears to whine and complain. Entitlement becomes the norm.

Apathy

When a nation’s needs are satisfied, it can lapse into apathy. Instead of being grateful for blessings, people begin to criticize everything…nothing is enough, but not having enough doesn’t spur them to action. They accept no responsibility for their plight and blame everyone and everything else.

Dependence

Nations come to expect certain things. When they want more, compromise leads to loss of independence. They start looking to socialism or communism as an answer. Government must supply those things they now consider essential. Instead of looking to God, a socialist or communist government becomes the answer to their demands. Like wild horses lured into a corral by a continuous supply of feed by those who would entrap them, nations find themselves entrapped by a false sense of security and dependence on the supplier of their desires. Freedom dies in the process.

Bondage

As they look around their safe and secure, but restrictive environment, they come to realize no one is going to set them free. The socialist or communist government’s hand-outs trap them. Free services ensnare; with the other side of the governmental “gift” – regulations and restrictions. Placing desires before freedom, ensnared nations lose the will to fight.

Spiritual Awakening

At some point, some will remember the abundance God provided to a nation who obeyed His laws and put Him first. People will begin to search for a “common cause” to believe in other than the dreary tasteless fare the socialist or communistic government offers.

Courage

Some will decide to fight for their freedom, just as the Founding Fathers did so long ago. They will recognize their rebellion from God and battle for freedom at great cost to themselves. Courage replaces apathy and complacency.

Liberty

When sacrifice and courage restore liberty, prosperity follows, only to repeat the cycle again when abundance becomes expected.

An Example

Israel’s history is a good example of this cycle. As a nation set up by God, they acknowledged His blessings, and they thrived. However, at some point a generation arose that didn’t know God, and they did what they thought was right in their own eyes. God judged them and allowed their enemies to plunder them. When they came to their senses, God sent them a deliverer to rescue them. The book of Judges is a treatise on the cycle’s nations follow.

Humility

Most in the U.S. don’t see the error in forgetting God. They are unable to understand the difficulties we now face in relationship to our disobedience and forgetfulness of the One who is the Sustainer. It is only when God’s people humble themselves and pray; seek His face and turn away from their wicked ways that God will hear their prayers and will heal their land. Something to ponder.

Author: jleasmith

I have led bible studies for over thirty-five years and one thing I have learned--God uses imperfect people who believe and trust Him. Therefore, I have written fictional accounts of selected Bible characters in order to display God's mercy and love to less than perfect people. In fact, I found He goes out of His way to display their shortcomings and failings in order to demonstrate His grace. The Old and New Testament are inexorably intertwined in order to display the scarlet thread of redemption. His promises are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. These three books encompass the Old Testament and those who believed in things unseen. It is my hope that readers will see that scarlet thread moving in the lives of ordinary men and women today. The early saints looked forward to a promised redeemer, but we look back upon His life and ministry. We must make a choice to believe or not. His reward is not based on works, but faith alone. We are no different than those ancient people.

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