A Guide for Creating a History Display Showcasing God’s Providence


The starting point for embarking on the exciting journey of creating a display depicting God’s providential hand in history is a recognition of the character of God. The God of the Bible is the only true God and He is perfect in holiness and sovereign over all things - including all events that occur throughout the march of human history. He is orchestrating all of these particular happenings for His divine purpose by weaving them together in a beautiful tapestry for His honor and glory. Without understanding that God is the primary cause of the course of history, our interpretation of that history will be faulty. While it may not always be obvious to our finite minds how certain historical occurrences fit into God’s perfectly orchestrated plan, we can take great comfort and hope in knowing the truth of Holy Scripture, which teaches:
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever.” (Romans 11:36, KJV)
It is with this foundation that we begin the work on a providential history display.


Steps in Fashioning a Providential History Display

Building upon the sovereign and holy character of our Father in heaven, we take the following steps to create a God-honoring display of a person or incident from the past:

Pray - This project should be bathed in petitioning the Lord for His divine assistance to open our eyes to His working. We are doing so much more than understanding and then reciting the people and events from a particular time period - we are seeking to gain insight into the very movement of the hand of God. As such, we need the wisdom and guidance that only our loving Heavenly Father can give.

Brainstorm and discuss ideas for your display as a family - There are so many exciting things that the Lord has accomplished throughout ages past by using a great variety of people, places, and circumstances. Sit together with your family and collect ideas from one another about what to do for your history display. Use events and people with whom you are already familiar or would like to study as a starting point for your brainstorming session.

Select a topic to focus your efforts - Once you have a list of ideas, the next step is to choose the one on which you will work. This part can be one of the most difficult of the entire process and should be done by seeking the Lord in prayer for His direction!

Meditate on the truths of Holy Scripture - God always acts according to His divine, holy, and perfect character. The way that we know His character and how He will show His nature (which includes the elements of blessing righteousness, judging wickedness, and sanctifying His people via various trials) is through what He has revealed in His Word. As you read or think of particular principles derived from specific Scripture verses applicable to the period of history that you are studying, include those verses or principles as elements of your display.

Study the event or person you have chosen - Diligently research documents about the people and events that you are investigating. Particularly focus on primary source documents written by the people actually involved in the event or life of the person you are seeking to portray since they are less likely to be tainted with the historical revisionism that plague many modern accounts of the past. As you study, look for God’s working in what you learn. Also, look for how events both before and after what you are depicting fit into God’s overall plan for human history.

Survey the gifts, talents, and interests within your family - As you are learning about the particular area that you selected to study, determine and discuss how the various members of the family can contribute to this God-honoring project. Younger children can be a part of this great work in a number of ways, including drawing pictures, helping to arrange items to display, building or painting parts of a diorama, and gathering supplies for others. Older children (and adults!) can work on this display through various means, including researching the particular topic, writing articles, listing how God’s hand is shown through various people and events, developing a timeline, designing the board layout, generating a slideshow for a laptop computer, and composing or recording music.

Build your display - Pay attention to details such as color selection, graphic design, and layout organization. Remember that the most important part of the display is to show God’s governance in the affairs of men. Consequently, ensure that your project properly emphasizes the work that the Lord accomplished.

Praise the Lord for the great things He hath done - By following the prior steps, you will be learning a great deal about Almighty God and how He has shown His power in the days of the past. As you do, praise God for what He has performed, as well as His graciousness and lovingkindness toward you in allowing you to have your eyes opened to more of his majesty, sovereignty, and providence.


Conclusion

Throughout your time of planning and creating your display, keep in the forefront of your mind that the purpose for this project is to be a faithful servant of His by bringing honor and glory to the Name above all names. As you seek to proclaim the work of the Lord from days gone by, may He bless you with His joy and cause you to be in greater awe of His work in this world. Take great delight in your glorious journey through the lanes of God’s providence and strive to have your display exalt the Lord on High, causing others to see His mighty power!


Soli Deo Gloria!
David Jachim (winner, Liberty Day History Display Contest 2010 & 2011)
 

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