“Begin with not honoring God’s day, and you will soon not honor God’s house; cease to honor God’s house, and you will soon cease to honor God’s book; cease to honor God’s book, and by-and-by you will give God no honor at all. Let a man lay the foundation of having no sabbath, and I am never surprised if he finishes with the top-stone of no God.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Yesterday, I forgot what day it was. The day before, I forgot that I had told my daughter I would help with the kids later in the week. I forgot to take my vitamins a number of times recently. Oh yes, I forgot to call the doctor for an appointment.
Every day I forget where my keys (or purse, or briefcase or wallet) are. Worst of all I forget how badly I need prayer at every part of my day, how desperately I need to follow God at all times.
It isn’t Alzheimers. It is busyness. It is distraction. It is simply too much to do. It is simply the human tendency to forget God.
That is the most painful part of my forgetfulness. I so easily forget that He is the Sovereign of the universe and that He loves me and expects obedience and honor from me.
God has warned us about forgetting Him.
In Deuteronomy 8, Moses instructs the people to :
- Remember how the Lord God led you out of Egypt
- Remember that it was He who met your needs and fed you with manna and gave you clothes that did not wear out
- When you have eaten and are satisfied, be careful to praise God and not forget the Lord your God failing to observe His commands
- If you follow ever forget the Lord your God you will be destroyed
- Remember the Lord your God because it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth
Moses gave the people a number of other “Remember” instructions
- Deuteronomy 5 : Remember you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord God brought you out
- Deuteronomy 7: Don’t be afraid of your enemies, remember what the Lord God did to Pharaoh and his armies
- Deuteronomy 9: Remember how you provoked the Lord your God to anger in the desert (remembering the disaster of the golden calf)
- Deuteronomy 11: Remember that it was not your children who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord (and fulfill your responsibility to teach them)
- Deuteronomy 16: Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and carefully follow all the Lord’s commands
Joshua and others frequently remind the people to remember:
- Joshua 23:4: Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you
All through the Psalms, the writer asks again and again that God would remember (and sometimes not remember) him
- Psalm 25:6 : Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are of old
- Psalm 27: Remember not the sins of my youth
- Psalm 106:4: Remember me, O Lord, when you show your people your favor and come to save them
And, he reminds the people that God never forgets:
- Psalm 111:4: He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate
- Psalm 115:12: The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron
Forgetfulness can be a serious problem. Even more serious is our failure to not teach the next generation those important passages about remembering God.
We cannot expect the blessings of God in our lives if we forget God as an individual, as a family, as a church, as a community or as a nation. In fact, we have good reason to believe we can expect God’s judgment when we forget Him and his commands.
What can I teach my grandchildren today about remembering God? What miracles and wonders have I experienced that I need to share with them as soon as possible?
I think I will begin to make a study of the remember passages of the Bible and choose at least five of them that I will teach to our family. I want to echo the words of the Psalmist when he said: ” I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” Psalm 77:11
Now, where ARE my keys??