(Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.)… And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. (Genesis 26:15 & 18)
Church history is important.
That ground which our forefathers broke, and from which they received sustenance, are places which have been left to us. But the enemy of our souls delights to make us forget. To make our history among the saints as dry and dusty as possible. To cut us off from our heritage. To obscure those dug out wells of refreshing. And if we do not make the effort to recover them, they are lost to us forever.
And so it is we see Isaac needing to dig such wells all over again.
Fortunately, he did not start at random. He went back to where his father had already found water, and sought to open those places up again.
Did the Church do everything right through the ages? Of course not. We have very many things in our past to grieve over. But there are also mighty blessings to be rediscovered and re-appropriated for ourselves, and those who follow us.
Don’t fall for the lie that we need all things new. Even the Kingdom is built upon the apostles and the prophets – those who have gone before us toward the Celestial city. The Cross itself makes no sense without Genesis 1-3.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel in each generation. Yes, we need to find that which is authentic for ourselves – while at the same time drawing from that great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us.
Building without a foundation is a recipe for disaster. Read the lives and the writings of those who walked with Christ before us.
Matt. 13:52: And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”