Sometimes when we read the Bible or other accounts of history, we can see the stupid decisions people have made and the wrong attitudes they had. Then we think how much better we are at things these days, but don’t realize we often have the same problem-solving issues and future generations will look on us with the same judgement.
For example, blood-letting used to be a common, recommended medical practice to treat many illnesses. We know today that that is the worst thing to do for a sick person, but back then they were sure it was working. We as humanity continue to make medical advancements, learning new things about how the body and diseases work, and how to treat them. I wonder what future generations will think about how we’ve handled medicine, especially given the controversies of the past few years. While it may not be entirely applicable, that thought reminds me of scene in a Star Trek movie when Captain Kirk and company travelled back in time (to what was then the modern day), and Dr. McCoy was flabbergasted and frustrated at all the barbaric medical practices. He was so frustrated that he even broke the rules of time travel by giving someone a pill that grew an entire new kidney for them so they could stop having their kidney problems and no longer be subjected to whatever the doctors were doing to try and fix things.
For another example, many times in the Old Testament, the Children of Israel complained to Moses and God about their needs, having already seen that God is completely able and willing to provide for and protect them. Sometimes they even complained about what God used to fulfill their needs while complaining that those needs weren’t met (Numbers 21:5)! We look down on them, but how often do we worry and wonder about situations in our own lives? Sometimes our human nature gets the better of us and we forget or disregard what we already know about God because we get scared that He won’t do as well this time. We get discontent with what we already have even though it is everything we need.
Sometimes looking back on history makes us feel better about ourselves, and sometimes it should humble us into considering our own actions and the consequences thereof.