LISTEN! REMEMBER!! DON’T FORGET!!!
These are the words Moses spoke to his people over and over again before they crossed the Jordan into the land God had promised them. Moses wanted them to remember God’s faithfulness as He had protected them, provided for them, and guided them in the wilderness. Moses wasn’t going into the land with them. He wouldn’t be there to remind them of God’s miracles and wonders. He wouldn’t be there to intercede on their behalf.
As I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy for my Thursday night Bible study, I have sensed distress in the voice of Moses. The same distress and panic I have heard in my own voice, when I would give my boys instructions before they left the house. “Wear your seat belt. Don’t get in the car with anyone who has been drinking. Call me if you get in a bind. Don’t go out too far in the water. Don’t get in the water if it’s rough.” If you’re a mom, you know the drill. You pour your heart out and the whole time you know your kids are thinking about one thing…getting out the door. So, you follow them out to the car, still giving them the same set of instructions. You are still going through them one by one as they drive down the street with their music blaring. You don’t stop until they are out of sight.
We do this because we love them…and we know them. We know they might have the best intentions to do what we ask, but the minute temptation arises and they are away from us, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to remember a thing we’ve said. We think there is power in repetition. Moses must have felt the same thing.
The ones Moses was pleading with to remember were also his children. They were children born in the wilderness. He had watched their parents die in the wilderness because of unbelief. His heart was pleading with these orphans because... He knew them. He knew that in spite of what they had seen with their eyes, heard with their ears, and tasted with their mouths, they would forget. The minute they sensed fear and uncertainty, every memory of God’s power and faithfulness would be forgotten.
Moses knew that unbelief was part of their DNA. God knows the same thing about me. Unbelief has been in our gene pool since Adam and Eve chose not to trust God.
Moses knew that though the land was going to be all God had promised, there would be battles that would have to be fought. Enemies to defeat. Fear would surround them. There would be darkness. They would face insurmountable odds.
Moses also knew they wouldn’t make it without trusting God. And God knows I won’t make it without trusting Him.
He has told me so.
That’s why He has told me to remember.
Remember what I did for you when you were in Egypt. Remember what I did for you when you were dead in your sins. Remember what I did for you when you had totally misunderstood Who I was. What My Heart was like. Remember how I waited for you to come home. And when you finally did turn towards me, you were covered with mud. You had a broken family and broken child beside you, and I was there waiting for you. Remember how I have carried you over and over again. The miracles. The wonders. The comfort and peace.
In the book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning quotes Edward Farrell as saying, “The three greatest obstacles to trust are amnesia, inertia, and procrastination. We are all subject to forgetfulness of God’s faithfulness in the past, laziness to act on the divine promise, and postponing until tomorrow what Jesus is asking of us today: childlike abandonment in trust.”
I know Farrell is right. At least about me.
God is telling me that He has given me this life. He has laid the path and He knows everything I will face as I walk it. And He is also telling me that if I want to see the miracles, taste the manna, and hear His voice, I am going to have to trust Him. Everyday. For everything.
So Cheri, blog. Write it down. Share it. Do whatever you have to do to remember. Always be ready to tell what I’ve done. Make a memorial. A Gilgal. Raise your Ebenezer. Don’t, Don’t, Don’t forget My benefits. My sweet child, remember everything.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”