"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalms 119:18 (KJV)
There are many things God wants us to forget. If we do not forget them and put their remembrances behind us, bitterness and unforgiveness will grow and fester in us. If we hang on to those types of thoughts, they can make us sour, and certainly take the joy out of our lives.
However, there are some things that God does not want us to forget:
He does not want us to forget His judgments. God put a reminder in the sky after rain and even at your water sprinkler (if you look at it just right on a sunny day). That rainbow is to help us remember how He brought the flood to wipe out the earth’s inhabitants because the “ . . . wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually,” Genesis 6:5. Sin was judged and punished that day, but the just (Noah’s family) were spared.
Remember also how the judgment of God literally fell on Sodom, Gomorrah, and other cities (Genesis 19:25). The judging wrath of God fell on the inhabitants because of the people’s sin. They did not get away with their sin.
Recall also, how grumbling, complaining, and other sins kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land. They wandered for 40 years in the barren wilderness until all of the generation responsible for their sin had died. When the last perished, the new generation was permitted into their land. Sin kept many from the blessings of God.
In the Bible, there are many stories of how people fell into sin, and how they suffered loss because of it. Those stories are there as a lesson for us reading the scriptures not to make the same mistakes. Do not forget; there is a price tag on sin. Sin is judged.
God does not want us to forget His Word.
In Numbers 15, while the children of Israel were still in the wilderness, a man broke God’s law and gathered sticks on the Sabbath. The Lord ordered the man to be put to death. God had all the children of Israel sew “fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations… (Numbers 15:32-40),” so they would not forget this harsh lesson. This was done to “…remember all the commandments of the Lord.” We are to know and remember God’s Word.
Since Moses first carried the original Word of God down off the mountain, it has been given and preserved (Isaiah 40:8) for God’s people. Scribes and thousands of others have been used to preserve the Word of God; so we would know God’s will, way, and plan for our lives. God’s protective hand has kept the words pure for us to use and remember. All His efforts would be for naught, if man did not read and hide His words in their heart (Psalm 119:11), and most importantly, obey them. Reading the Bible helps us to know God’s mind, so we can please Him.
A friend of ours inquired of us what was the most influential book of our lives. It did not take long for my response. The one book that has made the most difference in my life has been the Bible. That book has also brought revival, caused folks to make a stand for God, changed lives and nations, shown many God’s truth, and saved millions from a burning hell. Although there are many helpful books, the only words that are eternally important, and from the mouth and mind of the One who has raised billions of children are found in the inspired Word of God.
We also are not to forget His miracles and doings. Of the 146 times the word “remember” is used in the KJV, 26 of them are in references to recalling what God had done in the past.
After God had parted the mighty Jordan River, Joshua was instructed to leave a reminder of God’s mighty deed. An altar of 12 rocks was constructed in the center of the river from rocks from the Promised Land. Rocks from the center of the river were taken out and used in making a reminder on the side where they had lodged the first night. There were two reminders left for the following generations.
Years later, when someone asked the meaning of the pile of stones, the great deeds of God were rehearsed. We are to remember what God has done for us.
If we will remember what He has done for us in the past, we will find quick encouragement when needed. Recall the times that we called out, and He responded. Recollect the times when there was no other hope, but God came through. Remember, if He did it then He will do it again, unless He has reasons for not fulfilling our desires at the current time.
Sometimes, it seems that life’s walk is no longer by faith. God has helped us through every challenge, worked out every difficulty, and has gotten us through thousands of dilemmas. Certainly, he will not stop now. He will do it again. Do not forget what He has done!
We are also not to forget Jesus. Recalling the scriptures and remembering Jesus are similar, as Jesus is the Word (John 1:1 & 14).
When God’s only Son, Jesus, took the unleavened bread, broke it, gave thanks, he said “… This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:19” He wants us to remember Him.
Remember His example. It was for us He died a terrible death. It was for us he was mocked and laughed at. It was His love for us that provided our future in heaven, if we trust His finished work on the cross for our salvation.
Remembering what others have done to us and others’ unkindnesses is unprofitable. That will only ruin a person as bitterness sours and destroys any joy they have. However, t here are some things that we are not to forget in order to help us on our earthly journey. Remember God’s judgments, His Word, His mighty deeds and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“ But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” Psalms 73:28
This article was featured in The Bible View #242.