It’s an underlying philosophical assumption: We cannot understand reality from our fallen condition. Thus, we are cynical about any effort to present human history, and even more cynical about guesses of events before humans began recording them. Even if we lived in a heart-led society fully devoted to following Christ, no two of us will remember a common experience the same. We are incapable of unanimity about what we experienced.
Yet there is no sin in studying history. The sin is in promoting one story over another as some kind of orthodoxy. And we should cynically expect those in power to do just that. What is the utility in studying alternative accounts of history in the face of overwhelming official truculence? From a heart-led perspective, what glory does Christ gain from our asking such rude questions?
The ultimate need of humanity is humility before God. There is no higher duty to our Lord than to humble ourselves at His feet. But the second most important task is helping others to see the dire necessity of humbling themselves, as well. There is precious little we can do to bend a resolute sinner, and we know that God often breaks those who will not bend. But a critical element in pursuing His glory is participating in calling attention to this critical human need.
Thus, it is a high and holy task to humiliate those who will not be humble. Not from a position of strength, but in full recognition that we all belong on our faces. We don’t rise up in personal anger to pull men down, but we lie prostrate, whence we can pick out the one weakness no one else can see from a more upright position.
Granted, sometimes there’s nothing useful to say. But it’s assuredly a part of shalom that we can at least see those flaws clearly. We learn to see them by first noticing our own. No one stands so tall as those who grovel at the Lord’s holiness. Nothing could possibly benefit us more than seeing the depravity of own sin from God’s perspective. His Law is the only valid answer to human need. We are obliged to present His Law to the world, participating in His revelation. So don’t let your fallen mind confine your witness to mere words.
If nothing else, our humility will humiliate others. It’s the most powerful weapon we have against sin. And there is no shalom without it.
We have no vested interest in any particular outcome. This world does not matter; it never will. All human aspirations and dreams are lies. We play along to one degree or another so as to infiltrate and stand ready to fall on our knees and shake human pretense. Don’t get lost in the various methods and means, but know that a primary effect of your presence in any context will be humiliating the proud and pretentious.
We can study history to point out what a huge lie it is. Not that we make study futile, but we strip away human pride as the motivation. It’s not about human glory, but God’s glory. Once that’s nailed down, everything else can just float in uncertainty, because nothing else matters.