Forget Not God

There is the occasional forgetting of something. There are those people who are battling with memory loss naturally with the advancement of age. Then there are those who struggle with Alzheimer Disease - a whole other level of memory retrieval challenge.

However, while I think and believe that I have the majority of my facilities in tact - I pray that my forgetting or ability to remember does not fall in the line of Israel. Passages such as Deuteronomy 6:12, 8:11, 32:18; Psalms 103:2; Judges 3:7; 1 Samuel 12:9; Isaiah 17:10; Jeremiah 3:21, 13:25, 18:15, 23:27; Ezekiel 22:12, 23:35 and Hosea 8:14 attest to not only Israel forgetting God but a down-right purposeful shunning of God and His ways for lesser, substitute gods and their ways.

What befuddles me is not only the grandeur of Yahweh's deeds for Israel as He led them out of slavery toward the Promised Land, but the quality connected with His deeds. God loved and cared so much for a million plus people that He parted a sea deep enough to later kill a following, Egyptian army. He tried to speak with His people from an awesome cloud of fire, thunder and lightening on the mountaintop but they assigned Moses to be The Mediator. God fed them in the wilderness but they grumbled. He showed His presence in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. There were many other examples of God's display of Himself, His power and His provision throughout Israel's history. Yet, with all this Divine display and care, Israel eventually and possibly with contempt forgot The Lord their God and His ways. They even entered into a vicious cycle of seeing their mistake, repenting and returning to God, only to later forget or shun God once more.

In Scripture, the concept of the importance of remembering was not limited to the Old Testament. Here are a couple of New Testament verses that portray the aggravation of Jesus and Paul toward forgetfulness. 

  • "Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?" - Matthew 16:9
  • "Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?" - 2 Thessalonians 2:5
So, what are some things we need to remember about remembering? Our memory or recollection could and should be used for - 
  1. Future reference
  2. Appreciation
  3. Prayer requests (for others and self)
  4. Certain individuals
  5. Reflection
  6. Lessons and Blessings
Use remembering as a future source of gaining direction. In John 16:4 Jesus tells us that remembering is key for His Plan later on in our life. "I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you."

Utilize your recall ability to retrieve the memories of people who have helped and supported you and be appreciative of them. Paul describes remembering as a pleasant enough experience to thank God for someone. "I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

Practice remembering as a mechanism to enter into prayer for someone and to call to prayer for your needs. Paul describes remembering as a tool for prayer in Colossians 4:18. "I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you."

There are even certain people to remember. Paul emphasizes remembering your Christian leaders and imitating their faith in Hebrews 13:7. "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." 

Then John touches on remembering in Revelation. He views remembering as a retrospective measure to appreciate how much you have lost and gained. "Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first." (Revelation 2:5)

John also uses remember as a first step that then spurs one on to action. "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent." (Revelation 3:3)

So, I encourage you - when engaged in dialogue - make eye contact, pay attention, soak up what people are saying and remember. Why? Because remembering confirms to somebody they make a difference or influence in your life. It ministers to the heart deeply. In the effort of loving God, by loving others and serving God, by serving others, Christians should try remembering more. And while we are practicing remembering more, certainly Forget Not God.