Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this. (Ecclesiastes 7:10)
The Good Old Days
It is interesting how that history looks so much brighter when today becomes a distant memory shrouded with naive remembrance of how good the day was. There is a fondness to look back with great delight at days gone by when in fact there were as many challenges then as now. Yesterday is but a today turned into a tomorrow. The wise man reminds us what we see in the former days is not as good as we think. So why do we do that?
Yesterday has an appeal. Living the reality of the day is fresh in our memory. We see the difficulties face to face and they are harsh. As time passes the pain subsides and we soften our view of things. Pleasant memories are stored in our minds. Talk turns to the fun memories and the laughter. They were good days. They were happy days. But they were not any different than the history we make today.
People are not more sinful today than fifty years ago. The power of Satan has clutched the hearts of man since being expelled from the garden. It may come in a different form and color but sin is still sin and fighting the battle of righteousness is still the same. The gospel is still as powerful today as it was fifty years ago. Sin can only be conquered by the gospel. That is why the former days are not better.
The mistake of looking back with fondness for yesterday is forgetting that life takes place in the present. We are victims of our past whether good or bad. Imprisoned in the present day we decide how the future will be judged. The former days should not be our best days – today should be our best day. Growing demands leaving the former days behind us.
The week is almost gone. Enjoy the memories of the former days. Talk and laugh at the good times of yesterday. But let us all live in the spirit of Jesus today so that we will have so much more to look back on with fondness. When the Lord returns we will not be so much concerned about the former days as the days that are coming. I can’t wait to be part of eternity – not yesterday!
Many say, “This is a corrupt age.” This mode of speaking is not just; it is not the age that is corrupt, but the men of the age. (Oriental Proverb quoted by Adam Clarke)