FAITH: They were told to remember
Psalm 78: 1-8 NLT “O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.”
One of the important aspects of all life in Israel was memory. Specifically, memory of what God had done for the people and the covenant He made with them to be His nation. It was necessary to remember for several reasons. God commanded them to remember. He knew the people would be bombarded by life, new temptations, and distractions, so to not forget, they were told to remember. We have the same directive today as we celebrate communion. As well, they were commanded to remember so they would be thankful. It is in being thankful to God we acknowledge it is He who does mighty works, not us! Again, we experience the same as we remember the cross of Jesus in the sacrament of communion.
A well-known aspect of getting older is the propensity to become more forgetful. I love hearing long time married couples tell very different details of the same story. Each one is adamant about what happened and how it happened. In the end, the details are not as important as the outcome. In remembering what God has done, the details are as important as the outcome. The greatest detail is God is the one who does the work and creates the outcome. The task for us is to remember and testify to the next generation so they will not forget either!
“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.”
When we forget God, we start to think humanity is its own God! When we stay faithful to the Lord and acknowledge His mighty works, we can’t help but live in the fullness of His glory!
Be encouraged, God will never fail us! That is Good News!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.