Thursday, December 27, 2012

Perspective From History

We just dodged yet another apocalyptic prediction. Like any of them are likely to happen. I've wondered what will be next. Apparently, people are predicting solar flares in 2020 that will wipe out all our electronics.

I love to read history. One of the greatest gifts history gives me is perspective. A lot of us in America seem to imagine we're the first society ever to collapse. Sure, we know about Rome and plenty of other empires throughout history, but that's all far and away.

Christians in particular (disclosure, I count myself as such) get a lot of mileage from apocalyptic scenarios. The decline of our society (the west in general and America in particular) surely signals the end of days.

I came across this gem earlier. From "The Last Days of the Romanovs" Chapter 12 " Something has happened to them in there" which accounts for the events of Sunday, 14 July, 1918. Page 167:

Consoled and reassured by Father Storozhev's service, and confident of the resurrection to come, Alexandra spent the rest of the day lying on her bed making lace and having the scriptures read to her when the others went out for their walk. Her choice of extracts from the 12 books of the Minor Prophets offered appropriate parables for the present state of Russia. Olga and Tatiana had read to her from Hosea- a book of dark and melancholy prophecy about the sins of Israel that had brought the country great national disasters. The apocalyptic tones of chapter four seemed to mirror what was now happening in their own country - a place where there was 'no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God'. In Russia, just as in Israel, 'blood toucheth blood' as the country descended into internecine strife. Russia was a land in mourning where the people had rejected 'knowledge' - i.e. religion - and were now suffering for it. Further gloom and despondency followed in the readings from Joel, which prophesied a cataclysm over a land of Israel faced with desolation, plague and famine as punishment for its sins. God soon would swoop down in vengeance and sweep it all away: 'Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is night at hand'.

So the Tsarita (Empress- or the wife of the Tsar) saw the decline of Russia in the WWI days similar to how many of us see the west in our present day 94 years later and on the other side of the world. She linked parallels in Russia to the prophets of the Bible.

I'm not saying we're wrong to read the prophets and say "wow, that sounds just like today!" I'm just saying we're not the first. We may or may not be the last. Let's just keep our heads on straight and keep our perspective about history and the rest of the world, which apparently exists outside of U.S. borders.

By the way, the ENTIRE ROYAL FAMILY, that is the Tsar, his wife, their four daughters, and their son (the heir to the throne) and several of their servants were EXECUTED in cold blood by the Bolsheviks just 3 days later, on 17 July 1918. Bastards.

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