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Story and History

Story and History | October 2, 2010 Order Info

Scripture: Genesis 39:6-12; Joshua 3:9-17; 1 Samuel 24:1-6; 1 Kings 12:1-16; Job 1:1-12.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV).

Stories are as old as our planet, but capturing history has changed over the years. We once passed narratives orally from one generation to another. Writing on parchments, pressing words into clay, and chiseling ideas into marble have had their day. But technology has left us spinning with methods of grabbing history and recording it with a preciseness never known before.

Consider MHD’s. Military history detachments capture history while it happens. Operation Iraqi Freedom is now “history” as Operation New Dawn begins. And thanks to MHD’s, there is a thoroughness and exactness that increases accuracy. Using digital recorders, the core history taking comes through interviewing soldiers and officers. The average number of history’s taken in a typical 12 month tour is about 100-200. But some of the MHD’s are taking up to 500-600. What helps increase the speed and accuracy is discarding paper records and file folders and using online data sharing websites or SharePoints using a timeline that allows historians to browse files online. 1

But what if you mess up capturing that special moment? What if the lighting was bad and your picture turned out to be a muddy mess? No problem. Canon has just introduced new HS technology for low-light situations. They’re promoting their stuff in an ad called “Your Second Shot.” In the first ad, Canon takes a couple back to Barcelona where they first met, but lost the moment to a dim and blurry picture. With the new HS Technology, they get a new and brilliant picture in a low-lighting situation (without using a flash) that brings smiles to their faces. 2

This week’s Sabbath school lesson focuses on the importance of story in Scripture. Lessons from Israel’s past have been captured by God’s historians to teach us, not just impress us with factual details. Writing down minutia does not necessarily catch the story. Even digitally recording an event can miss the message intended. God has a story to tell. Technology was pretty limited when the Bible was written. But the simple tools used to portray the communication came through in just the way the Lord intended.

It’s been interesting to watch heaven’s technology “grow” over the years. We’ve all seen pictures of “recording angels” using feather pens dipped in ink and writing on parchment scrolls. I used to tell my children that someday, during the millennium, we will be able to view the records of people’s lives on earth. I portrayed video tapes as a way to explain what it might be like. Perhaps it will be more like DVD’s files, or online libraries, or Flash pictures. I’m sure whatever technology God uses, it will astound us.

The purpose of capturing history in Scripture is not to demonstrate the latest technology. The primary purpose of stories in Scripture are not to give us an update on fashions or the latest gossip. It is to provide a message with a point. The Bible tells us those messages are for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and instructing us to be more like Christ. That’s something MHD’s and Canon cannot do.



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