One of my weaknesses is that I forget names. I do a lot of… “Hey, girl! How are you?” It’s really embarrassing, but what can I say?
Oh, no. I just gave away my secret!
Although I may forget names, I do remember major life events. Like my salvation, my elopement (It’s the quiet ones you have to worry about, parents.), my graduations, the births of my two girls, the home-goings of my grandmother and father-in-law, etc.
That’s why the forgetfulness of the children of Israel, is so mind boggling to me.
On the day the children of Israel go out of Egypt into freedom, God impresses upon them…
Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: Exodus 13:3b
And I’d think they would remember such a massive undertaking and life event as the exodus from Egypt and deliverance from slavery!
But they don’t.
In their journeying God’s people come to the Red Sea and are trapped! Pharaoh and his army have changed their minds about letting them go and have charged after them. And the Israelites have nowhere to go! (Exodus 14:5)
But instead of remembering the power of their God, the children of Israel cry out to God in anguish and fear. And they blame Moses for leading them out of Egypt! Wishing they could have just remained slaves in Egypt! What?! (Exodus 14:11-12)
They had forgotten the ten miraculous plagues that God had wrought in order to deliver them from bondage! They forgot God’s faithfulness and His power.Moses’ answer…
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. Exodus 14:13
And then we read about one of the most amazing and exciting deliverances recorded in the Bible…the parting of the Red Sea.
He sends an east wind to part the waters and dry the ground so that Israel could cross over and escape the Egyptian army. (Exodus 14:21)
Do you ever imagine the scenes you read about in the Bible? This would have been an epic event. Can you just imagine walking between two walls of water that must have been exceedingly high? I wonder if they could see fish swimming in those walls like we get to see when we visit an aquarium?
Then to watch the whole Egyptian army be destroyed! And know that they were saved! What a wonderful deliverance from their enemies!
Israel had to know that through it all, God would be with them. I mean He hadn’t left them the whole time. He was with them in a very visual way…every day…in the pillar of fire by night to give them light, and the pillar of a cloud by day to guide them.
And yet for all His past deliverances, mercies, presence, and faithfulness, the Israelites forget and lash out at each new distress.
Did you know it took them only 3 days to forget about the Red Sea deliverance?
Just 3 days after singing a song of worship and praise to the LORD, they are again angry and fearful in the wilderness of Shur when they realize they have no drinking water. As if providing drinking water would stump the God who had just parted a sea and killed a whole army…all by Himself! (Exodus 15:22-24)
Yet are we any better? Am I?
When something comes at me that has the potential to harm me or my family, or to just turn my life upside down, I can easily begin to panic. Especially if it comes at me suddenly and unexpectedly.
But panic isn’t what God wants for me or for you. He wants peace and rest for each of us…no matter what we see of our circumstances.
He even promises us…
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
It is so easy to be forgetful of God’s goodness to us. And His very presence with us in the person of His Holy Spirit within each believer.
We come to a new problem, and all we can see is that problem…unless we train ourselves to remember God’s presence, His past deliverances, and His faithfulness in answering our prayers and supplying all our needs.
How Can You Make Sure Not To Forget?
How can you help yourself not repeat the mistakes of the children of Israel in forgetting God and His past deliverances and blessings?
In a journal.
I don’t want to forget what God has done for me in the past, so I have been keeping a journal of answered prayers and major life events and God’s blessings to me and to my family. What a sweet blessing and faith builder it is to go back and read about and relive those memories.
If you haven’t done this in the past, let me encourage you to begin a prayer journal today. You don’t have to write in it every day. You could choose just to record only major events and answers to prayer.
Why not sit down right now and make a list of prayers you remember God answering in your past and record those. You may be surprised at how many precious memories He brings back of His blessing and care for you. Then add to it every so often.
On notes in a blessings jar.
Another idea I’ve recently begun to use is a blessings jar. Anytime this thought comes to mind— “What a blessing!”— I go get a small piece of note paper and jot down what God just did for me and place it in the jar.
It is another blessing to watch the papers accumulate!
Another way for us to help ourselves remember God’s blessings and faithfulness to answer our prayers is to…
Talk about them…
To God in prayer.
Thank God for specific answers to prayer, for His blessings and faithful deliverances.
During testimony time or prayer request times at church, be sure to praise the Lord publicly for answered prayers you’ve asked others to pray about with you. Remember to testify of God’s goodness whenever you have the opportunity!
What better time to share with family what God has been doing in your and your family’s lives over the past year than at Thanksgiving?
I have found Thanksgiving to be a great time to open my blessings jar and share from it.
It is so important that we not forget. By remembering God’s past deliverances, we don’t repeat Israel’s mistakes of frustration, complaining, anger, and unbelief.
Instead, we enjoy greater faith, joy in believing, and patience and peace as we wait on the Lord to reveal His faithfulness…yet again!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Psalm 103:2
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
How has God delivered you in times past? In what ways do you strive to remember His answers and blessings? And please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with remembering names!