History a Parable
Psalm 78:2
I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

In Matthew 13. this verse is quoted as the ground of our Lord's teaching by parables. He never used fables - stories which contain the unnatural and grotesque, - but parables - stories of what were, or might have been, actual occurrences. Probably many of them were. And all history is a parable, and ought to be so used by us in teaching far more than it is; for, like the parables, history has for -

I. ITS AUTHOR - God. The story of the nations often seems to be no better than a wild hurly-burly, and their wars to be no more important than, as one has said, the fightings of so many kites and crows. But such idea is the result of a merely slight and superficial observation. Deeper study would show the

"Divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will." The philosophy of history is the discovery of God.

II. ITS METHODS - the record of events that are ordinary, familiar, human. These are the common groundwork of both parable and history.

III. ITS USEFULNESS - that it conveys instruction in a manner that arrests thought, deepens impression, awakes interest, and is retained in the memory as other forms of teaching are not. It is especially adapted for children.

IV. ITS INTENT AND PURPOSE - to teach men, and to incline them to follow the ways of God. And such are -

V. ITS RESULTS. For just as the result of the parables of our Lord on the minds and hearts of men is simply incalculable in the vast extent of its controlling power, so also is it with the teachings of history. They have created a just judgment and a fixed habit of mind in men, upon which most of the modern life of the nations is based. History - the record of experience - is, after all, the Bible of mankind, and doubtless was intended so to be. We do no honour to the sacred Scriptures by our too common habit of confining our studies of the ways of God in history to its records alone. All history teaches of God, and not that of the Bible only. Happy will it be for both teachers and taught when they, as did the writer of this psalm, regard all national history as a parable of God. - S.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

WEB: I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old,

Whole Psalm: Warnings Against Unbelief
Top of Page
Top of Page