Real people facing gritty life challenges, dysfunctional families, people blinded by greed, lust, selfishness, people who willfully dig themselves into ridiculous situations are immortalized in the pages of the Old Testament. Lovingly, I often think “I’d make a five-star Israelite” (already scoring points with some pride).
What strikes me about Old Testament Israelites is their propensity to forget. God would show them His mercy (uhem, Abraham lied TWICE about his wife being his sister and walked away with more wealth!), power to protect (it wasn’t ONLY the Red Sea, God parted the Jordan River too and they camped in the middle of it!), provision (they never went hungry or thirsty) and compassion (Hagar and her son nearly died but God not only revealed water to her, but gave her and her son a blessing).
Old Testament Israelites aren’t the only ones who forget, it’s actually their forgetfulness that’s endearing and compelling to me.
Even now as I write, I should be able to carry on with details of similar instances of God clearly intervening in my life. but undocumented, it quickly fades; a vague memory. In the moment, I cannot conceive of forgetting something incredible, like the time I received frightening medical results and suddenly a surgeon’s previously booked schedule had an opening for me, but I do…undocumented, it quickly fades; a vague memory. One of the many dangers with forgetting God’s works, for me, the greatest liability is FEAR.
Fear sinks its talons into my soul when I forget. Tragically and quickly, the peace I should have vaporizes. Constantly, our Creator, who knows our propensity to forget, reminds the Israelites (and us) to make a concerted effort to remember what He has done in our lives.
“Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Each them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9
When I recall who my God is, just a facet of His character, fear no longer stands a chance! As much as our news would like to report the world is in a dire condition, it is nothing new to our Lord. When you’re afraid will you look at the wonders around you? Will you take a moment and remember what God has done in your life throughout the day?
I’d love to hear what God brings back to your mind!
Heart Check: Do you consciously remember the works God has done in your life? How do you share those things with others?