Traditional values are being challenged. Traditional institutions are being undermined. Society is unstable. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future. Sounds like 2012 doesn’t it?
Those words were used to describe the early 1800s by authors Richard Current, Harry Williams, Frank Freidel and Alan Brinkley in their American History: A Survey. While we might feel that America is at its lowest point or even that the world is at its lowest point, morally, ethically, economically and so forth, history has something to teach us.
History shows us that history runs in cycles. Our own country has seen two great religious awakenings. These movements grew out a deep need to grow closer to God. World history also shows the same cycle. The Reformation movement was a movement to break out of the run. The Restoration movement was the same type of effort. Man’s behavior runs in cycles – moving toward God, spiritual stagnancy, moving away from God.
Solomon wrote as much (Ecclesiastes 1:9): “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
When our traditional values are challenged and institutions are undermined and society is unstable and there is uncertainty in the future – it has happened before. The one stable constant in Solomon’s life and in ours is God. We need to walk with God and encourage others to walk with God. He’s the only one who can break us out of the endless cycle.