A sagacious Bible scholar told me how important it was for the Israelites to look back and remember what God had done for them in the past because it gave them the strength to persevere through difficult times.
Sometimes we need to look back, too, and remember what we have to be grateful for in this country and what it is that is worth preserving.
In the Old Testament book Lamentations, the Prophet Jeremiah was expressing his overwhelming sorrow at Babylon's destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah's grief reached a climax in the very center of the book when he was completely overwhelmed with despair. "My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord."
But before he had finally given up, in the process of agonizing over his past suffering, he remembered something that gave him hope. God had been gracious to his people and had not totally consumed them as a result of their sins. God had always been faithful to his promises and his covenant, and therefore Jeremiah could put his hope in God. Thus, in the end, this book is more about hope than it is about despair, and that hope is based on a firm faith and trust in God. What rekindled that faith was Jeremiah's remembrance of God's character and his trustworthiness.
Please permit me a secular application of this lesson -- which also has spiritual underpinnings, in that our liberty is grounded in biblical principles.
Many Americans are experiencing despair over what we believe is the destruction of this nation from within. We see a rejection of the moral principles and system of government that have made this the greatest nation in the history of the world. We fear that if we don't soon turn things around, we will lose the America we love.
To that end, we must look back and remember the foundations and timeless principles upon which this nation was built and recommit ourselves to them before it is too late.
The primary architects of our constitutional republic understood that history teaches essential lessons. They meticulously studied history and comparative political systems in preparation for crafting a system of government likeliest to maximize liberty.
In my late grandfather's bookshelf, I found a 1965 book titled The Bill of Rights. In the chapter "Textbooks on Tyranny," the author wrote glowingly of the erudition of the Founding Fathers and their "intimate knowledge of the 500-year struggle between tyranny and freedom that had been going on in England."