"God is big on urging us to remember," I noted in a recent Bible study.
"We are big on forgetting," a friend wisely replied. And she is right.
Nearly 100 times in scripture, God commands or exhorts us to "Remember" or "Do not forget." In fact, God rooted the whole Jewish system of sacrifice and ceremony in remembering, from the passover feast which reminded them of their slavery and deliverance to each bloody sacrifice which reminded them of their sin. (Heb.10:3).
Why is God so emphatic that we remember? Because we are so prone to forget and when we forget, we so subtly, yet steadily drift away from Him.
"Remember," says the Lord over and over again. "And do not forget..."
What is it that the Lord wants us to remember?
As I reviewed all these passages over this past week, I found four fundamental categories of commands for remembrance.
1. God, over and over, calls his people to remember their slavery (Deut 5:15, 15:15, 24:32), the days of darkness (Eccl. 11:8). Remember the days of suffering. (Hebrews 10:32).
2. Remember God's deliverance from that severe time. (Deut. 7:18,8:2, 16:12, Matt 16:9)
3. Remember the law of God. (Joshua 1:13,Mal. 4:4)
4. Most abundantly, the scripture urges us to remember the deeds and attributes of God, who He is in His very nature and how He has proved it in His actions. (1Chron. 16:12, Job 36:24,PS 77:11)
"Yeah, yeah, I know all that stuff," you may be thinking. But when was the last time you sat down and took to time to remember, to think back on the darkest, most painful time of your life and remember those days of suffering, and then remember exactly how the Lord brought your deliverance? And in light of what the Lord has done in your life, when was the last time you simply reflected on his word and prayed it back to him and celebrated in either written on spoken word, the sheer delight of who He is?
Our time is precious to us. But the Lord has commanded us to "Remember!" So here is a challenge: Take time this week to remember these things, either sharing it with a friend or writing it in a journal or simply praying it aloud to God, himself.
Let's take some time to remember, and perhaps in this discipline, we will discover a new richness in relationship with Him.