Forgetfulness is not of God. It is an insidious condition that tends to stealthily encroach upon our mind, particularly as we age. The enemy can use forgetfulness to actualize his ploys against us. Deep sermons that touch the very core of our being are often in danger of being relegated to the dusty trails of antiquity due to failing memory. The precious memory verses we recited enthusiastically in childhood have grown obscure and almost hollow! I am speaking here not about the forgetfulness that is disease-induced, but that which is natural. This type can be prevented or mitigated by diet, natural supplements and ongoing learning and challenging the mind.
God freed ancient Israel from the iron grip of the most powerful empire of that era under Pharaoh, attended by a series of incredible miracles- the plagues that devastated the Egyptian economy and annihilated an entire generation of people (Egypt’s first born population group). They partook of the Passover- a signature ceremony of their new nationhood and spiritual separateness from the rest of the world. They crossed in the middle of a huge body of water (the Red Sea) on dry ground while Pharaoh’s army was decimated during an attempt to recapture them. Then they celebrated their total freedom on the other side of the Red Sea. But three days into the journey they had forgotten all this and complained about lack of drinking water. God gave them water to drink. Shortly afterwards they complained about their diet and selectively longed for the Egyptian dietary system. They had already forgotten about the whips that had torn their backs at the hands of their taskmasters. They had also forgotten how God had literally contended with Pharaoh’s stubbornness and brought him to his knees. Then they faced the Amalekites in war and God delivered them. They buckle in rebellion at the prospect of possessing the Promised Land after the report from some ten spies reveals that the land is occupied by giants, forgetting how God had delivered them in the past! Inevitably, a series of judgments ensue. Finally, after 40 years of wondering in the wilderness, they are standing on the brink of the Promised Land, yet again- a complete new generation, in the plains of Moab. Moses sternly cautions them in Deuteronomy 4:9 to “Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” But this is precisely what happens later. An unhealthy spiritual see-saw pattern develops in their relationship with God: forgetting the Lord their God and being harassed and defeated by enemy nations; remembering Him again and appealing to His mercy; being delivered yet again; forgetting once more, being defeated; remembering…until the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations.
After the Babylonian captivity God is made manifest in the flesh in Christ Jesus to urge all believers “This do in remembrance of Me…” But the tendency to forget continues amid the echoes of this ardent appeal. The consequences are negative spiritual, emotional and physical health outcomes that extend to our day. Only by remembering the counsel from our Creator can we be made whole again.