The word ‘remember’ is rich with meaning and often used in Scripture. It can mean to ‘recollect’, ‘to reflect upon’ and to ‘commemorate.’ God kept on reminding the Israelites to ‘remember’ because He understood all too well how easy it would be for them to just enjoy the Promised Land and forget how, and, more importantly, who, led them there. It was God who had redeemed them from slavery in Egypt and brought them out, accompanied by great demonstrations of His power.
They’d cried out to God in their bondage and He’d heard their desperate prayers and raised up for them a deliverer called Moses. Through him God parted the Red Sea and drowned the pursuing Egyptian Army. Both horse and rider were swept away and never heard of again. The Israelites were reminded not to forget that momentous occasion, nor how their God had led and sustained them for almost forty years in the desert.
Now, east of the Jordon, and about to cross over and claim their inheritance, they were to remember who they once were, and who they’d now become. They were no longer despised slaves under cruel Egyptian bondage, but God’s chosen and redeemed people.
In Deuteronomy Chapter 16 the Israelites were again exhorted to remember their departure from Egypt, and in the following chapter, they were instructed that they shouldn’t return that way again. Their slavery was over and Egypt was now a closed door. They didn’t ever have to return to that terrible place of suffering and servitude again.
When I read today’s scripture, it caused me to remember my own story. I too was once a slave under a cruel taskmaster, until God redeemed me and called me His own. He removed the shackles from my ankles and drove away the dreadful hopelessness that accompanied my slavery. I don’t ever want to forget where I’ve come from. Nor do I want to go back to a life without God and without hope.
‘Bless the Lord, O my soul…. And forget not all his benefits. He forgives all my sins, heals all my diseases and redeems my life from the pit’ (Psalm 103). Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! When you truly recollect, reflect upon and commemorate where you’ve come from, and who it was who brought about your redemption, you can’t help but praise. The words come flowing like a river from within you. To our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, be all honour and glory and praise. He indeed is worthy!
Prayer: God, I don’t ever want to forget who I was, how You redeemed me and who I am now – Your much loved child. I praise You today for all that You’ve done in my life. Amen.