The nature of history can be divided up loosely into three worldviews. The first is humanism, which, whether it intends to or not, views history as worthless because we are worthless. It's largely mythological, and from this worldview, we get things like Greek Tragedy.
The second view is that history tells the story of man's evolution to perfection. It's salvation by an evolutionary process. The third view of history is the biblical view, which claims to be the only infallible source of history. The only infallible word on where we've been and are going.
For this reason, God's people have always been keen observers of history.
They are interested in history first because it teaches them who God is, who the church is, and why she exists. Second, history reveals the acts of a promise-keeping God and stirs the believers' faith in the present, and third, it gives the people of God an understanding and hope for the future - it provides future grace.
The history of Israel in the time of Ezra is one such example. An example of the value of history, God's purpose for His people, and the hope of a less-than-perfect people.>