Jun 05, 2015 Words of Grace – Forgetfulness
Most Christians – and most people for that matter – struggle with a disease of the mind called forgetfulness. We can forget small things like our car keys or wallet, but there is an even greater tendency to forget more significant things.
For the Christian, forgetfulness can become a serious problem. When we enter a particularly stressful time or a season of suffering, forgetfulness can place us on the edge of entirely neglecting God and his goodness. Seasons of hardship press us, and sometimes what comes out of our hearts looks like unbelief in God or his word. We forget that God is for us, that he loves us, and that he even cares about the details of our lives.
The people of Israel were notorious for forgetting God, his goodness, and all his spiritual benefits. There is a famous story about Moses sending out spies to scout out the Promised Land. Imagine this time in history for a moment. God has already defeated the Egyptians. The people of Israel merely sat on the sidelines as they watched him victoriously rescue them from slavery. They didn’t even need weapons! Then God led the people to the Red Sea, and as they stood at the edge of the water, the Egyptian army bore down on them. Then God separated the water, a barrier that seemed impossible to overcome. The people of God walked safely to the other side while the Egyptian army drowned behind them.
Now, fast forward to Numbers 13. The people of Israel spy out the Promised Land, and it all looks wonderful, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” This land is all they could have ever anticipated, but there is one problem. There are powerful people living in the land. They seem like another impossible barrier to overcome. In a moment, the people of Israel completely forget about the rescuing and conquering power of God. They doubt God and his plan. Sadly, they even think it would be better to become slaves in Egypt once again. They fall into despair because they forget God’s plan and his benefits. What would have happened that day if the people of Israel had rested in the memory of what God had already done for them? How would we live differently if we remembered God’s benefits daily?
This week we will begin a sermon series on Psalm 103. The Psalmist begins with these words, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Join us this Sunday as we examine the power of remembrance.
– Justin Tucker