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Will You Remember Me? I Will Remember You



It's been quite a while, four months to be exact, since I have resumed my regular Bible reading schedule.  I had a few detours along the way, starting with studying Scripture verses related to the names of God, which was an enriching study that increased my love for the Lord.  Then the last six weeks I was studying the book of Philippians with the women at our church.

Now I find myself back in Deuteronomy where I left off at Chapter 8.  It feels sooo good to be back in my own personal reading.  Don't get me wrong, the study I did on the names of God and the Philippians study were a blessing in their own right, but there is something about methodically going through the entire Bible, in context, that I find the most exciting.  And indeed, that was the case Saturday night...

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep 
his commands.  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with 
manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man
 does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  
Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Deuteronomy 8:1-5

Prior to my hiatus from Deuteronomy, I was murmuring to myself that I was reading the same accounts over and over again in that book and it was becoming increasingly hard to gain new insights as I read along.  But Saturday night it struck me why Moses kept repeating the same stories over and over again, to remind the Israelites of how merciful God had been to them, even though they had failed Him repeatedly.  God showed Himself reconciled to Israel by giving them His law, entrusting them with His Word, establishing the Sabbath as a token of his presence and favor all the while leading them to Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey.

Are we not the same?  Don't we need to be constantly reminded to remember our God.  Even as I type these words, I'm appalled at myself really.  How is it I can forget God??

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,  and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.  He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18

There are so many ways that we forget God.  Like when things are going great and we tend not to call out to the Lord.  Or when we are anxious or worried putting all of our focus on our circumstances trusting in our own way to get ourselves out of whatever situation we are in, instead of trusting in God's perfect will.

Charles Spurgeon writes on this subject...

Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into his place to do for him that which he has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of that which we fancy he will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if he were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to his plain precept, this unbelief in his Word, this presumption in intruding upon his province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God's hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the "broken cistern" instead of to the "fountain;" a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God's lovingkindness, and thus our love to him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from him; but if through simple faith in his promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon him, and are "careful for nothing" because he undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to him, and strengthen us against much temptation. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee."

The Lord gave us the gift of memory.

Memories can be a source of pain or a source of joy.  Memories can either cripple us or embolden us.  Memories can embitter us or free us.

Charles Spurgeon says...

Memory is frequently the bondslave of despondency. Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs.

She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah's experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: "My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me"; and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope."

Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime. Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to rehearse His deeds of grace.

Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, "the bosom-spring of joy," and when the Divine Comforter bends it to His service, it may be chief among earthly comforters.

In this life, we will create thousands upon thousands of memories all of which will shape us into the people we are today, but those earthly memories don't have the final say.

The greatest of all memories, is the Word of God and His promises, for that is what holds for us life and peace, wisdom and knowledge and most especially the Father's love.

I'm sure you have all known someone who has suffered with Alzheimer's.  Truly one of the cruelest diseases out there.  But have you ever noticed, that although the person has forgotten who their loved ones are or how to do the most basic human tasks, they are able to remember the lyrics and tunes to hymns or Scripture verses that they have hidden in their hearts.

You see, even a devastating disease such as Alzheimer's can never remove the fact that the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26

Let us continually set our hearts to remember the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

And we can know that although we may forget the Lord at times, the Lord remembers us...

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
Isaiah 49:15-16

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
Lamentations 3:21


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Comments

  1. I remember as a child, I couldn't understand why the children of Israel fell into the same sins over and over. Now as an adult I see why!

    Deuteronomy has so much wisdom in it. We need to impress on our minds and hearts scripture and dwell on it over and over. I found it very interesting what you said about Alzheimer's patients forgetting who their loved ones are but the Holy Spirit reminding them of scriptures and songs they'd memorized. How beautiful that the Word never returns void - even in our memories!

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    1. Hi Jerralea, I felt the same about the Israelites and eventually had the same realization, only I was an adult in both instances. lol.

      Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  2. I love Deuteronomy 8! And Spurgeon's quotes really resonated with me tonight. Thank you for sharing this.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, Praise God!

      You are very welcome.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  3. Yes! We often forget God when things are going well and life's going off without a hitch. I used to point my finger at the Israelites for forgetting. Psalm 78 recounts all of God's works for the children of Israel, inserting, "They forgot his works" and "but they forgot." The purpose of the Psalm is to tell the coming generations of God's works and not to forget God. May we remember and recount to our children and children's children.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, Thank you so much for sharing from Psalm 78. Perfect addition to the conversation!

      Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. Memories can be foreboding, a crown of iron. I always want to remember that He wore the crown of thorns.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca, Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for this timely reminder. Why do we ever forget our living God, it is when I think I can do this on my own. I need Him every minute of every day. Blessings,
    Pam

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pam, Indeed and Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  6. Spurgeon is always so helpful. Recalling God's faithfulness is my best worry-weapon. But I don't always take it up!

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    1. Hi Sue, Indeed he is!

      Love that term "worry-weapon"! I am in the same boat. I don't always take it up.

      Praising God that He is faithful even when we are weak in our faith.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the great lesson on memories. We are celebrating legacy on the blog this summer. Feel Free to come share this on our linkup. https://www.mandyandmichele.com/the-greatest-legacy-a-fathers-love/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mandy, You are very welcome!

      Thanks so much for the invite. I will come on by for a visit.

      Delete
  8. I was JUST reading my notes this morning about Deuteronomy, it became one of my favorite books over the past two years because it talks so much about what God did for the Israelites, how He cared for them, led them, etc. And then how many times it tells us to share that with our children so they remember.... Thanks for the post!!

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    1. Hi Becca, Exactly!! That was what came through loud and clear to me as well! There wasn't anything He asked them to do that He wasn't going to be right there with them or was not going to provide for them.

      You are welcome.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  9. I'm so thankful for His grace and the fact that He never forgets me even when I'm neglectful of our relationship! I loved the Spurgeon quotes.

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    1. Hi Donna,

      Amen!

      Charles Spurgeon's devotions are so rich in theology and exhortation. I love them too! :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  10. I think we have all been around our mountains and in our wildernesses. Thank God He offers His rest.

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  11. I am always amazed at how often God forgave the sin of the Israelites that 40 years, but so encouraging. He is a forgiving God because he knows our hearts, I think. I too enjoy following a scripture plan, but really enjoy reading the Bible the way that I like so was nice to read you saying that also. I'm on my 2nd time through and seems some things are becoming more clear. I use to read hit and miss over the years, but finally decided to read it in its entirety. Took me about year and half or bit more because I did it slowly. Always nice to visit your site. Love your header picture. :) Have a great week.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Peabea, Thanks so much for sharing your journey with the Bible.

      Aw. I enjoy your visits!

      Thanks so much! You too!

      Delete

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