Remembrance

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. –Psalm 103:2

I forget things all the time. The latest thing I forgot is to buy my husband new socks as he requested a month ago when all of his current socks developed holes in them. When he graciously waited a few weeks and then asked if I had remembered to buy his new socks, I had to tell him that I had forgotten. I had written the task down somewhere and then never returned to read and remember the task set for me.

Of course, socks are not important in the grand scheme of things, but my love and consideration for my husband in the form of willingly shopping for the things he needs is important. I forget important things too. I forget how much the Lord has done for me. I forget all of the benefits He has provided year over year, day by day. I forget the task He has set for me, to serve others with joy and with a higher priority than serving myself.

My default mode is forgetfulness, and I suspect yours may be too! I can say this because Scripture shows two testimonies: the forgetfulness of God’s people, and the perfect memory of God.

A reading of Israel’s wandering in the desert will frustrate the reader as we see God’s people forget over and over how much He has done and provided for them. God led Israel by His presence, with a literal column of visible smoke by day and guarded them with a literal column of fire by night. This column physically went before their feet on a miraculous stretch of dry land through the Red Sea away from their slave masters. God rained daily bread down from heaven in the form of Manna so that they would not starve. They ate their breakfast of Manna, did the dishes, cleaned up the campfire, and then went straight over to join the false worship service to a golden calf they had created with their own hands, instead of thanking Yahweh for His daily provision.

God knew His people were forgetful, and He gave them tools to remind themselves of His goodness, His provision, and His worthiness. He commanded a tabernacle to be made, a tent for worship services and for God to meet with His people, to travel along with them through the desert. A daily practice to remember. He commanded an Ebeneezer, a physical pile of stones in remembrance of God’s goodness, to be built on the banks of the Jordan River when God’s people first passed into the promised land.

In contrast to Israel’s forgetfulness, God has a perfect memory. He remembers all that He promises to remember, and He forgets all that He promises to forget.

He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations. Psalm 105:8

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. –Hebrews 8:12

I praise God that He always keeps His promises! I praise God that He always remembers my needs. I praise God that through the covering blood of Jesus, He forgets my sins and brings me into His presence forever!

May I, and you, choose to make a daily practice of remembering all of the good things God has done. It is an active decision. Because without the active decision, just like the Israelites, my default is forgetfulness. When I wake up, I must command my soul to praise God! When I lie down, let my meditation be of God’s perfect ways.

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