Guess what, folks? We can’t change the past. We don’t know the circumstances that our ancestors faced. We don’t know what they thought or what they said (unless they wrote it down), and we cannot change their actions to agree with our 2020 frame of mind. So how do we get past, well – the past?
In the Old Testament they didn’t put up statues, they built altars unto God. After Noah and his family got out of the ark, the first thing they did was build an altar and sacrifice to God (Genesis 8:20). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all built altars to worship God, But there was a time when an altar was built “to remember.” After the children of Israel had conquered the promised land, “there failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel, all came to pass: (Joshua 21:45) The children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh departed from Israel to go back over the Jordan River to live on their inheritance, but they stopped on the banks of the Jordan and built an altar, “a great altar to see” (Joshua 22:10). The children of Israel thought that these tribes had trespassed against God and had built the altar in rebellion to God. But, they built it so that, “In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying What have ye to do with the Lord God Israel. Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, But that it may be a witness between us, and you , and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, that you children many not say to our children in time to come, “Ye have no part in the Lord. Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made, not for burn offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you” (Joshua 22:26-28). No, this altar was not a statue of a particular person, but the children of Reuben, of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh built it to remind future generations who they are and where they’ve come from.
We cannot change the past, but it should be a reminder of where we’ve come from and who we are. It’s up to us to move forward, “pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 3:14) We cannot “undo” what is “done.” We must let go, let God, and make sure that our actions and thoughts are pleasing unto Him, for on the day of judgment, we will only answer for what we have done (II Corinthians 5:10). Aren’t you glad? We are all simply blessed, Courtney