“For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Numerous times, Jesus referred to the Old Testament Scriptures. In the verse above, Jesus referred to what David said in Psalm 110:1. If Jesus were like the average preacher of this generation, He would have never quoted David because of the mistakes and great sins he committed. Certainly, if anyone had a reason to condemn the previous generations for what they did wrong, Jesus had many reasons. Jesus is the perfect Son of God; He had no unrighteousness in Him. Yet, even the sinless Son of God embraced the good of those sinners of the past because He understood the good they did was still good even though they had sinned.
We live in a generation that thinks it is their responsibility to correct what they deem as the mistakes from the past. However, this generation is not just trying to “correct” the past, but they are trying to expunge the accomplishments of the past generations. My friend, you can try to taint the works of those from the past by pointing out what you deem as wrong, but you will never be able to explain away their fruits that continue to this day. With this thought in mind, let me give you several thoughts about how to look at the past.
First, all history has black spots. Jesus knew the sins of those from the past, but it never kept Him from continually quoting them. Twenty-six times in the Gospels Jesus made the statement, “It is written…” If the perfect Son of God was willing to quote and embrace the works of those from the past, mind telling me why you would want to expunge the past and their accomplishments? Yes, all the leaders from the past have done things they should not have done, but are you sinless? Should we sit you down and expunge everything you have done because of the sins you have committed? You must understand that you are going to find inconsistencies in the leaders from the past because they are sinners, but their shortcomings should never stop you from seeing the great works the LORD did through them.
Second, embracing the leaders from the past helps to pave a path for the future. One great mistake many make is to totally forge a new path to walk today; a path we don’t know where it leads. You would be wise to let the accomplishments of the spiritual leaders from the past be your model to follow today. Jesus could have easily blazed His own trail, but He chose to build upon the accomplishments from the past. Building upon the accomplishments from the past doesn’t mean you are condoning any wrong they may have done; it simply is showing your ability to build upon the good they did accomplish.
Third, don’t examine the past in the microscope of indictment. In other words, stop looking at the past with the purpose of trying to find what is wrong with them; instead, study the past to learn the good you can follow.
Fourth, seeing that God used people in the past in spite of their indiscretions only shows the power that He has to use imperfect vessels. God’s power to use imperfect vessels in the past only reveals His ability to use you with all of your imperfections. My friend, don’t try to change the past but embrace their accomplishments so that with God’s help you can improve the future.