They Forgot

by Scarlett Stough

How easy it is to forget, especially those things we are ashamed of, or those things we need to do, but don’t want to do them! We have an ancient record of an entire nation forgetting their origin:

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Reshathaim King of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer (Judges 3:7-9.)

How does this have any relevance to Christians today who live in and are citizens of many nations around the world?

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did (I Corinthians 10:6.)

Especially if we live in comfortable circumstances, we Christians can forget the Lord our God and can begin to set our hearts on evil things once again. The trouble is we may not realize that some of the things we do set our hearts on are evil in the sight of the Lord. We need to remind ourselves often of what things displease God who is our Sovereign above any human government under which we live.

We prefer to be comforted by reminders of God’s love for us and his generous provision for life now and for eternity. We prefer to push aside any reminders that God does discipline those he loves. We forget he is a God of justice as well as grace, intended to lead us into righteous living.

We tend to forget that the judgment of God begins with his household, those who call themselves by his name--Christian (I Peter 4:17.) Too often we are too eager to point our fingers accusingly at those who do not even claim to be Christian and merely doing what comes naturally out of an unchanged heart. God calls on us to repent of forgetting him: “…if my people, who are called by my name, [author’s emphasis] will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (II Chronicles 7:14.)”

What does God want us to remember?

He wants us to remember he leads, humbles and tests us. He wants us to remember to live by every word of God. He wants us to remember to observe his commands, to walk in his ways, and revere God. He warns us, “Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees …(Deuteronomy 8:11.)”

God inspired Moses to record those things God wants us to remember. The Book of Deuteronomy records the many things we forget, but God wants us to remember. God inspired the Apostle Paul to remind the Corinthian church and all Christians down through the ages of those same important attitudes and actions (I Corinthians 10.) One of the instructions to Timothy and other Christian teachers is: “…devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching (I Timothy 4:13.)”

We are not expected to know how to live well simply by following our own instincts or feelings or personal ideas of what is right or wrong; we are expected to seek knowledge from the Bible which is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17.)” And that includes the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament which was the only written Scriptures of that time. The Bereans were commended for examining those Scriptures every day (Acts 17:10-12.)

The words spoken and written down by Moses are just as relevant to Christians today as they were to ancient Israel. Whatever our natural ethnic origins, we are, if we belong to Christ, of Abraham’s Seed (Galatians 3:26-29.)

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Remember.

Volume 10 Issue 9 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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