Here are five ways that history repeats itself.
Failing to Learn From History
When Hitler came to power under the Nazi regime, he knew that Germany had lost World War One because they had two or more fronts and so Hitler determined not have a two-frontal war but how quickly he forgot when he began the invasion of Russia. Now he was fighting Russia and the Allies and Just like Napoleon who tried to take Russia in winter, the German’s failed to learn from Napoleon’s blunder and thus, the Nazi’s lost to Russia and it was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.
A principle of history is that if we fail to learn from history, we’ll repeat it and that has happened so many times that it’s impossible to document in one devotion but the world is full of examples of not learning from history and then repeating it, like when it was declared that World War One was the war to end all wars but just a couple of decades later all those lessons were forgotten and there were the Allies in Europe again and ironically, once again, they were fighting the Germans. They also said the same thing about World War Two but that certainly wasn’t the war to end all wars….but just another war in human history.
Most of us are not old enough to remember the Great Depression but the same warning signs are present today as they were just before the great Stock Market Crash of 1929 which was followed by the Great Depression and years later, another crash in 1987. Today, many of these same warning signs are present today like overvalued stock and massive amounts of debt, but we have failed to learn from several of the stock market crashes that have occurred in U.S. history, so it may be close to repeating itself again someday.
How often have many of us fallen into the same habitual sin pattern that we lived in prior to our being saved? We can repeat our own history if we’re not staying humble, confessing our sins, and staying in prayer and in the Word. The Word of God has power but when we avoid the Word, we lose contact with God’s power and we can easily do what the proverb says, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly” (Prov 26:11), so we can easily return back to our former sins and have our own personal history repeat itself if we’re not diligent.
According to Voice of the Martyrs, there have been more Christians killed in the last 100 years as there have been in almost the last 2,000 years, but what those who are persecuting Christians fail to learn is that the more they try to eliminate Christianity, the more it spreads. It was like this from the very beginning in the first century church where, “there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1). All the persecutors managed to do was to spread the gospel even further because they ones fleeing Jerusalem took the gospel with them and spread it throughout the Roman Empire. It is true, the blood of the martyrs are the seeds of the church.
If we fail to learn from history, we’re going to repeat it. This doesn’t just apply to nations to our own personal experience as a Christian. When we fail to learn from our own mistakes, we’re doomed to repeat them, and keep repeating them, and that’s something we should learn from history and from our own personal history, to not make the same mistake twice.